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Applying Quality Standards in Impact Evaluation: Case of CARE Program Quality Framework and Evaluation Policy.

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Applying Quality Standards in Impact Evaluation: Case of CARE Program Quality Framework and Evaluation Policy

Ahmed Ag Aboubacrine Josephine KainessieBockarie Sesay Dr. Moses LahaiPatrick RobinDME Unit – CARE Sierra Leone5th AFREA/NONIE/3IE Conference – Cairo -31st March – 2nd April 2009

care international program quality framework http pqdl care org
CARE International Program Quality Framework
evaluation policy

DAC Principles

  • Purpose Of Evaluation
  • Impartiality & Independence
  • Credibility
  • Usefulness
  • Participation of Donors and Recipients
  • Donor Co-operation
  • Evaluation Programming
  • Design and Implementation of Evaluations
  • Reporting, Dissemination and Feedback



  • Utility
  • Feasibility
  • Propriety
  • Accuracy
  • Evaluation Accountability

CARE International Principles

  • Relevance (focus on what is important)
  • Participation (of community representatives)
  • Focused on impact on the lives of people (significance)
  • Credibility (objective and reliable methods)
  • Integrity (ethical standards)
  • Transparency (willingness to share findings)
  • Independence (of evaluators)
evaluation policy1

DAC Standards

1. Rationale, purpose and objectives of an evaluation

2. Evaluation scope

3. Context

4. Evaluation methodology

5. Information sources

6. Independence

7. Evaluation ethics

8. Quality assurance

9. Relevance of the evaluation results

10. Completeness

And …?

Other Evaluation Standards & Guidelines (DFID, Sphere, etc.)

CARE Evaluation Policy Lines

1. Responsibility of COs

2. Consistent with CI Principles (3&6) and Standards (10)

3. Test the relationship with CI’s Vision and Mission and MDGs.

4. Analysis of the degree and consequences of implementation of the CI PQF (SP, UF)

5. Follow professional inter-agency standards (“speak a common language”)

6. Significant participation and high level of influence of participants and stakeholders

7. Evaluation Completeness

8. Conducted openly and in a transparent manner

9. Follow up and accountability

10. Evaluation is a priority  CB + Rigor + Use

11. Generating the resources required the EP

lessons learnt in practice
Lessons Learnt in Practice
  • Policy Evaluation as the main guide while designing both the intervention and its evaluation (ToRs)
  • Operationalize the policy requirements in the evaluation design (in technical offer) – Use checklist
  • Stickiness to the standards (staff, consultants, donors)
  • Mix-Methods (no single method!) by separate experts working as a team (Quantitative Study followed by in-depth Qualitative Assessment)
  • Impact Measurement Vs Participation Principle
  • Evidence Vs Ownership / Sustainability
  • Seeking impact Vs Inventing impact
  • Independence (internal /external)?
influencing factors
Influencing Factors
  • Capacity Constraints
  • Human Factor (agenda, skills, competencies, etc.)
  • Data Collection and Analysis Methods
    • Analysis of Priorities (felt / normative /relative needs)
    • Analysis of Impact (Measured Vs Perceived)
  • Ad-hoc external Vs Action Research through out the lifetime
rethinking the standards
Rethinking the standards

New Challenges

  • Evolution of thinking (IE)
  • Strategic Impact Inquiries
  • Project to Program Shift (P2P)
  • Chose Appropriate Impact Measurement Methods
  • Review Of the Program Quality Framework?
use of evaluation standards in post conflict context
Use of Evaluation standards in Post-Conflict Context
  • Opportunities
    • Alignment is still possible (Evaluation Policies, Paris Declaration, Accra Agenda for Aid Effectiveness).
    • Emerging trend of evaluation and accountability by aid agencies
  • Constraints
    • Contextual Limits to Evaluation Utilization of evaluation to influence decision makers
    • Capacity Development
    • Persistence of emergency culture (dependency)
    • No process oriented
do and don t in using evaluation standards
“Do” and “Don’t” in using evaluation standards


  • Think that every thing is feasible
  • Wait for the evaluator to apply the EP
  • Oh!... That’s the job of M&E Officer
  • Think that your evaluation should be always perfect (there are always limits!)


  • Question your design with the lens of your EPs
  • Select what would be mandatory
  • Contextualize (set level of compliance for each principle / standard)
  • Promote attitudes (thinking evaluatively)
  • Work with qualified academic / research people and/or institutions
  • Allocate resources and time