This is a revised edition of the 2013 Country Programme Evaluation Handbook, providing up-to-date guidance and tools to improve the methodology, quality and usability of country programme evaluations at UNFPA.
The updated Handbook is in line with the latest development discourse and new strategic directions at UNFPA. It includes detailed and updated guidance on all steps in conducting and managing a country programme evaluation at UNFPA such as preparing for an evaluation, designing the evaluation, field work, reporting and facilitating use of evaluation results. The Handbook places special emphasis on facilitating use of evaluation results through strategic communications for greater accountability, decision-making and learning.
It also includes an enhanced focus on mainstreaming human rights and gender equality in UNFPA country programme evaluations and provides guidance on evaluating UNFPA country programmes in humanitarian contexts.
The Handbook is especially useful for evaluation managers for UNFPA country programme evaluations; evaluators undertaking evaluations commissioned by UNFPA and other stakeholders involved in the evaluation process. It is also a useful resource for international development evaluators and professionals.
The full Handbook (in spread and page view) is available in a navigation enabled PDF, to aid rapid search for and locate specific guidance and tools on evaluation methodology. For ease of use, each chapter is separately available for download as well.
The Evaluation Handbook should be read together with its companion piece, Guidance on disability inclusion in UNFPA evaluations, in addition to the 2020 edition of the guidance on Evaluation Quality at UNFPA and the revised UNFPA Evaluation Quality Assessment (EQA) grid.
Outline of the Handbook
Chapter 1: The overview of country programme evaluation (CPE) in UNFPA presents the evaluation process step by step. It is useful for readers interested in obtaining an understanding of the key stages involved in conducting a CPE. It also includes a presentation of the tools, resources and templates to be used throughout the process. Special emphasis is placed on the evaluation matrix as a central tool for the design and conduct of a CPE.
Chapter 2: The preparatory phase covers definitions of the terms of reference (ToR) for the evaluation, the selection of the evaluation team, the establishment of the CPE reference group, the preparation of all pertinent documentation, the list of UNFPA interventions, and the stakeholders map. It walks the reader through all of the initial steps and instances required to lay the groundwork for the evaluation design.
Chapter 3: The design phase delves into components such as contextual analysis; understanding of programmatic and financial frameworks; the selection of evaluation criteria, questions and relevant stakeholders; and the identification of tools for data collection and processing. It also takes a deeper look at the different sources of information that can be used – interviews, desk reviews, focus groups and others – the necessary human and financial resources (including the division of labour), and the definition of a work plan.
Chapter 4: The field phase connects all of the preparation and design work with the actual context or programmatic interventions to be assessed. That includes the deployment of the evaluation team, data collection (via interviews and other mechanisms), site visits and preliminary analyses.
Chapter 5: The reporting phase involves the analysis of all data and observations gathered throughout the evaluative exercise, transforming key insights into findings, conclusions and actionable recommendations. This body of knowledge is then consolidated into briefings and reports to be shared with key internal and external stakeholders.
Chapter 6: The facilitation of use and dissemination phase focuses on the release of evaluation reports, but also encourages a more strategic approach to communicating evaluation knowledge for learning, decision-making and accountability.
Chapter 7: Finally, the handbook contains a toolkit that offers practical tools, checklists, templates and tips for designing and conducting a CPE.