Better Aid: Evaluation in Development Agencies by OECD

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The self-reported “average number of evaluations per year produced by the central evaluation unit” is subject to distortion caused by variation in the definition of “evaluation” used by each respondent and the distinctions made between central unit and decentralised evaluations in each agency. Decentralised evaluations should be excluded from these figures. However, some respondents included project or programme-level (“decentralised”) evaluations to which central unit staff contribute time or resources.

Despite progress in sharing evaluation plans and a high level of collaboration among members, it remains to be seen whether member agency practice has actually become more joint in terms of setting evaluation plans. Responses to the member questionnaire regarding the planning process demonstrate that the majority of evaluation topics are selected based on agency or domestic priorities identified through primarily internal planning processes. Planning processes focus on building ownership input from agency staff and management.

Spain recently announced approval of a significant increase in evaluation resources. The evaluation budget is expected to total EUR 900 000 in 2010, a threefold increase from current levels, which would bring Spain closer to the norm, though still below average overall. This figure includes 150 (decentralised) evaluations reported by JICA. Excluding JICA, the average is 19 evaluations per year. See Note 5. 48 Evaluation in Development Agencies – © OECD 2010 2. Main findings and analysis 5. The self-reported “average number of evaluations per year produced by the central evaluation unit” is subject to distortion caused by variation in the definition of “evaluation” used by each respondent and the distinctions made between central unit and decentralised evaluations in each agency.

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