Conducting an evaluation is considered good practice in managing a project.
The monitoring phase of project evaluation allows you to track progress and identify issues early during implementation, thus providing an opportunity to take corrective action or make proactive improvements as required.
End of project evaluation allows you to judge the success of the activities you undertake, and therefore provides accountability to those that fund projects. It also allows you to repeat activities that have been demonstrated to work, and you can improve on, or let go activities that do not work.
REASONS TO UNDERTAKE AN EVALUATION
- To assess whether a project has achieved its intended goals
- To understand how the project has achieved its intended purpose, or why it may not have done so
- To identify how efficient the project was in converting resources (funded and in-kind) into activities, objectives and goals
- To assess how sustainable and meaningful the project was for participants
- To inform decision makers about how to build on or improve a project
Evaluation is not just about demonstrating success, it is also about learning why things don’t work. As such, identifying and learning from mistakes is one of the key parts of evaluation.
Evaluation is not about finding out about everything, but about finding the things that matter.
Evaluation allows you to continually improve your project, both during its implementation (adaptive management), and with new projects.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new” Albert Einstein
How much should you budget for evaluation?
As a general rule, you should allocate around 10% of your project’s budget to evaluation. You can help cost your monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as you develop your M&E plan.