Managing and Implementing an Evaluation: Guidelines and Tools for Evaluation Managers
CRS, American Red Cross, Alice Willard
One of the key elements in the Preparing for an Evaluation module was the identification and empowerment of an evaluation manager. The evaluation manager is key to shepherding the evaluation through its initial planning phase and even more important in implementing the evaluation, as the evaluation manager is the primary link between the evaluation team and the project being evaluated. The evaluation manager has a number of specific tasks, but also may not have all of the necessary skills to perform those tasks with confidence (as the evaluation manager is often a more junior member of the organization).
This module will give the evaluation manager three key skills:
1. The basic vocabulary and understanding to work with the consultant in determining the best mix of methods for the evaluation and the organization
2. More details on the specific management tasks required during an evaluation
3. A better understanding of the evaluation’s role in organizational learning.
The evaluation manager is the anticipated audience for this module; the evaluation manager is the field or headquarters staff tasked with overseeing an evaluation. This staff member may or may not have evaluation experience or management experience, but has the assignment. It will also help more senior management to determine who should be given the assignment of evaluation manager and provide a way to gauge the individual’s performance in this assignment.
This module does not provide detailed monitoring and evaluation (M&E) skills—such as conducting surveys, running focus groups, and so on—nor does it use terminology specific to one private voluntary organization (PVO). But this module will help organizations ensure that:
- The organization obtains the results it wants from an evaluation.
- The evaluation creates a learning opportunity for the organization.
- There are clear guidelines for a good working relationship between the evaluation team and the evaluation manager.
- The guiding principle of “do no harm” applies equally to staff, consultants, and beneficiaries during the evaluation process.