3.5 Developing Evaluation Guidelines and Standards


Some VOPEs invest resources into the development of guidelines and standards which can help influence those involved in evaluation to deliver good quality work.

The process for developing appropriate guidelines and standards may include:

1)      Identify the purpose for the development of your guideline / standard

2)      Define who the standards/guidelines will aim to influence? (Evaluators, Commissioners of evaluation, Evaluation governments_

3)      Appoint a committee and board member responsible for developing the guideline / standard. Engage with members and potential interested parties

4)      Assess if the standards will be used as basis for legal and/or professional purposes, or only as advisory material

5)      If  for legal or professional purposes,  ensure that all legal and standard professional requirements are met

6)      Investigate existing international, national and local guidelines / standards that are applicable in your context

7)      The local context may involve specific guidelines and standards to respond to the cultural context

8)      Determine whether membership must  agree to uphold  standards or a code based on the standards, as a condition of membership

9)       Set out the procedure for handling verification of standards or complaints), or

10)   Develop a draft guideline / standard / code, clearly stating its purpose and practice and incorporate a procedure for regular review

11)   Seek feedback from the full Board and other  interested parties; revise draft based on feedback

12)   Submit standard/ guideline to a vote at an AGM

13)   On membership approval, finalise guideline / standard, publish and disseminate

14)   Implement necessary systems and processes to support the guideline / standard Examples



Here are some examples of guidelines developed by VOPEs

* The process for developing the African Evaluation Guidelines, as well as the actual standards and norms are set out in their document. It aims to define what good evaluations look like. African Evaluation Guidelines – Standards and Norms. 2006 / 07 version Accessed online 22 February 2014 from: http://www.afrea.org/sites/default/files/resources/AfrEA%202007_guidelines%20standards%20%26%20norms_EN.pdf

* The Canadian Evaluation Society developed Program Evaluation Standards adopted in 2012. It aims to define what good evaluation in education looks like. Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation. (2011) Program Evaluation Standards. Accessed online 22 February 2014 from:  http://www.infinitevisionart.com/wp-content/plugins/pdf_download/pdf/1JCSEE-Program-Evaluation-Standards.pdf

* The Australasian Evaluation Society documented Guidelines for the Ethical conduct of Evaluations aimed to ensure that evaluations are conducted ethically. AES (2013). Guidelines for the Ethical Conduct of Evaluations. Accessed online 22 February 2014 from: http://www.aes.asn.au/images/stories/files/membership/AES_Guidelines_web.pdf

* The UK Evaluation Society has generated these guidelines to help commissioners, practitioners and participants establish good practice in the conduct of evaluation. It is interesting since it aims to influence more than just those doing evaluations. United Kingdom Evaluation Society. (2013). Guidelines for good practice in evaluation. Accessed online 22 February 2014 from:  http://www.evaluation.org.uk/resources/guidelines.aspx

* The American Evaluation Association developed guiding principles for evaluators, as well as a set of training materials. This, together with the history is available on their website. American Evaluation Association Guiding Principles for Evaluators. Accessed online 22 February 2014 from:  http://www.eval.org/p/cm/ld/fid=51

* The International Development Evaluation Association published their draft Code of Ethics. International Development Evaluation Association (2012). Draft Code of Ethics. Accessed online 22 February 2012 from: http://www.ideas-int.org/documents/file_list.cfm?DocsSubCatID=49

* For a list of other evaluation standards (also in languages other than English), see the compilation by the European Evaluation Society:




Voici quelques exemples de lignes directrices élaborées par VOPEs:


La Charte de l’Evaluation des Politiques Publiques


Société Canadienne d’Evaluation – Éthique

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Acknowledgements, Licensing, Attributions

Full details about the acknowledgements, licensing and attributions of this content here.


Note that depending on the size, development phase and purpose of your VOPE, the material presented in this post may need to be contextualised for your specific purposes. Also take note of the full toolkit disclaimer here.

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