Evaluation of development programmes

Developing evaluation capacities



The mandate of the DAC Network on Development Evaluation includes the commitment to “support partner country evaluation capacities.” To achieve this, the Network's Task Team on Evaluation Capacity Development (ECD) aims at:

  • Demand-driven and needs-based ECD support through networking and dialogue with partner countries on ECD needs, frameworks and the role of donors;
  • Evidence–based frameworks and guidance for more effective ECD support through developing a concept and guidance on ECD support;
  • More efficient and coordinated ECD support through promotion of joint and better coordinated activities; and
  • Enabling environment for evaluation through advocacy work.

Furthermore, the Network's members work side-by-side with partner countries in joint evaluations.

During 2012 the Task Team developed a basic concept note on Working Consensus on Evaluation Capacity Development to guide the work.


An emerging OECD DAC consensus on capacity development defines capacity as the “ability of people, organizations and society as a whole to manage their affairs successfully.” In this framework, evaluation capacity development can be understood as the process whereby people, organisations and society as a whole unleash, strengthen, create, adapt and maintain evaluation capacity over time
The capacities of both donor agencies and partner countries to undertake effective development planning, monitoring and evaluation are key components of aid effectiveness. Network members recognise that capacity is an essential element of ownership. Strengthening evaluation capacity within partner countries can further mutual accountability and facilitate joint work.


Tip-sheet available:

How to Support Capacity Development
through Evaluation

This Tip-sheet provides basic advice to evaluators on how best to support evaluation capacity development through their regular evaluation work, outlining elements of a more “capacity-friendly” approach to evaluating development co-operation.


The note was written for the evaluation departments of development agencies, but will also be of interest to country offices, independent evaluators and programme staff concerned with strengthening capacities in developing countries. This tip-sheet is part of the ongoing work of EVALNET to support stronger evaluation capacities.


Click to download this Tip-sheet













Recent Work

The Network continues to serve as a hub for learning about and sharing experiences with capacity development. The 2010 study of Network members, discussions at meetings and a fact-find survey  led by Japan in 2007, have shown that ECD is an increasingly important, active, and challenging area of work. Input on partner-country experiences has been provided by speakers at Network meetings and the Network continues to engage with regional and international evaluation groups on this topic.


Individual members are actively engaged in direct support for capacity development efforts at many levels. Through their own evaluation work, particularly joint evaluations, members also impact partner country capacities indirectly. A background paper presented at the June 2009 meeting outlined some emerging lessons on how to maximize the positive impacts of donor evaluation work to better support capacity development. A tip-sheet for members is currently being developed and will be discussed by the Network in 2010. 

A hight level International Conference took place on National Evaluation Capacities in Johannesburg - South Africa, on September 2011.  Read the meeting documents.

A hight level International Conference took place on National Evaluation Capacities in Casablanca - Kingdom of Morocco, on 15-17 December 2009.  Access the 2009 proceedings in English


Documents and other resources

Read the UNICEF book serie on Capacity Development
Centers for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR): A Multilateral Initiative (11th Meeting PowerPoint, 2010)
Towards a Strategic Partnership for Evaluating Capacity Development (11th Meeting Room Document, 2010)

Supporting partner country ownership and capacity  Unicef experts meeting, January 2010: Hans Lundgren, head of the Secretariat for the Network, and other leading experts discuss country-led evaluation and capacity development.

A strategic approach to supporting evaluation capacity development in partner countries: what is known and suggestions for moving forward (Meeting Room Document and Background Paper, 2009)

Strengthening evaluation capacity in partner countries: What next for the Network? (PowerPoint, 2009)

M&E Capacity Development in the AfCoP-MfDR and the Case in Ethiopia (PowerPoint, 2009)

ECD - Lessons and experiences in Vietnam  (6th Meeting Room Document, 2007) 

ECD Case Study, Learning by Doing, Viet Nam  (6th Meeting PowerPoint, 2007)

ECD Discussion paper  (6th Meeting Room Document, 2007)

Fact-finding study of Network members ECD work (2006)

Partners in Development Evaluation: Learning and Accountability Workshop25-26 March 2003
(25-26 March 2003)


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