“DFID takes very seriously the responsibility to ensure high quality, independent evaluation of its programmes, to provide reliable and robust evidence to improve the value of its global work to reduce poverty.
In December 2007 the Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact was established to help DFID strengthen its evaluation processes. The Committee is there to work with DFID to:
- Determine which programmes and areas of UK development assistance will be evaluated and when;
- Identify any gaps in the planned programme of evaluations and make proposals for new areas or other priorities as required;
- Determine whether relevant standards (e.g. of the OECD Development Assistance Committee) are being applied; and comment on the overall quality of the programme of evaluation work carried out against these.
DFID and IACDI have therefore been working closely together to define a new policy which will set the course for evaluation in the future. We have also produced a ‘topic list’ of potential areas for evaluation over the coming 3 years. So you will see here two documents on which we would like your feedback, the Draft Evaluation Policy and the Evaluation Topic List.
Central to the policy is the emphasis on greater independence of evaluation, along with stronger partnership working, reflecting global commitments to harmonisation, decentralising evaluation to a greater degree, driving up quality, and ensuring that learning from evaluation contributes to future decision making. We would like you to consider those high level issues when offering your comment and feedback during the time the consultation process is open. This document does not focus on the operational issues; they will be considered in a separate DFID strategy document.
During the consultation period, we would also like to hear your views on which topics you consider to be the greatest priority and why. This will help DFID to make decisions on which are to be given the highest priority.
In summary the issues we are particularly keen for you to focus your feedback on are:
1. The definition of ‘independent evaluation’ – what are your thoughts on the policy approach of DFID, working increasingly with partners, to increase independence in evaluation?
2. What are your views on what’s required to drive up quality across the board in evaluation of international development programmes? What role do you think DFID can most valuably play in this?
3. What are the considerations for DFID strengthening its own evaluation processes, whilst ensuring its commitments to harmonisation remain steadfast?
4. DFID is determined to increase the value of learning from evaluation to inform policy – what are your thoughts on the means to bring this about?
5. DFID is committed to consulting stakeholders during our evaluations, including poor women and men affected by our programmes. Getting representative stakeholders, especially for evaluations which go beyond specific projects and programmes, can often be challenging (for example evaluations of country assistance plans or thematic evaluations). Do you have any ideas on how to improve this?
6. DFID is committed to developing evaluation capacity in partner countries and increasing our use of national systems. What are your thoughts on the challenges and ways forward?
Please send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org . The public consultation will officially close on Tuesday 3rd March but we would appreciate comments as early as possible, so that they can be considered as the operational issues are further thought out.”