The applicable requirements for the structure of the evaluation report establish the report’s fundamental structure and the sorts of material it must cover but do not mandate a specific format or style for the report. There are, however, certain standard elements.
Table of Contents
- What is an Evaluation Report?
- What is the purpose of an evaluation report?
- What should be included in an evaluation report?
What is an Evaluation Report? #
An evaluation report is a document that presents the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of an evaluation, which is a systematic and objective assessment of the performance, impact, and effectiveness of a program, project, policy, or intervention. The report typically includes a description of the evaluation’s purpose, scope, methodology, and data sources, as well as an analysis of the evaluation findings and conclusions, and specific recommendations for program or project improvement.
Evaluation reports can help to build capacity for monitoring and evaluation within organizations and communities, by promoting a culture of learning and continuous improvement. By providing a structured approach to evaluation and reporting, evaluation reports can help to ensure that evaluations are conducted consistently and rigorously, and that the results are communicated effectively to stakeholders.
Evaluation reports may be read by a wide variety of audiences, including persons working in government agencies, staff members working for donors and partners, students and community organisations, and development professionals working on projects or programmes that are comparable to the ones evaluated.
What is the purpose of an evaluation report? #
The purpose of an evaluation report is to provide stakeholders with a comprehensive and objective assessment of a program or project’s performance, achievements, and challenges. The report serves as a tool for decision-making, as it provides evidence-based information on the program or project’s strengths and weaknesses, and recommendations for improvement.
The main objectives of an evaluation report are:
- Accountability: To assess whether the program or project has met its objectives and delivered the intended results, and to hold stakeholders accountable for their actions and decisions.
- Learning: To identify the key lessons learned from the program or project, including best practices, challenges, and opportunities for improvement, and to apply these lessons to future programs or projects.
- Improvement: To provide recommendations for program or project improvement based on the evaluation findings and conclusions, and to support evidence-based decision-making.
- Communication: To communicate the evaluation findings and conclusions to stakeholders, including program staff, funders, policymakers, and the general public, and to promote transparency and stakeholder engagement.
An evaluation report should be clear, concise, and well-organized, and should provide stakeholders with a balanced and objective assessment of the program or project’s performance. The report should also be timely, with recommendations that are actionable and relevant to the current context. Overall, the purpose of an evaluation report is to promote accountability, learning, and improvement in program and project design and implementation.
What should be included in an evaluation report? #
The structure of an evaluation report can vary depending on the requirements and preferences of the stakeholders, but typically it includes the following sections:
- Executive Summary: A brief summary of the evaluation findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
- Introduction: An overview of the evaluation context, scope, purpose, and methodology.
- Background: A summary of the programme or initiative that is being assessed, including its goals, activities, and intended audience(s).
- Evaluation Questions: A list of the evaluation questions that guided the data collection and analysis.
- Methodology: A description of the data collection methods used in the evaluation, including the sampling strategy, data sources, and data analysis techniques.
- Findings: A presentation of the evaluation findings, organized according to the evaluation questions.
- Conclusions: A summary of the main evaluation findings and conclusions, including an assessment of the program or project’s effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability.
- Recommendations: A list of specific recommendations for program or project improvements based on the evaluation findings and conclusions.
- Lessons Learned: A discussion of the key lessons learned from the evaluation that could be applied to similar programs or projects in the future.
- Limitations: A discussion of the limitations of the evaluation, including any challenges or constraints encountered during the data collection and analysis.
- References: A list of references cited in the evaluation report.
- Appendices: Additional information, such as detailed data tables, graphs, or maps, that support the evaluation findings and conclusions.
The structure of the evaluation report should be clear, logical, and easy to follow, with headings and subheadings used to organize the content and facilitate navigation.
In addition, the presentation of data may be made more engaging and understandable by the use of visual aids such as graphs and charts.