Evaluation of development programmes

Key publications and documents


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February 2015

Evaluation Insights n° 10 on Evaluating the impact of budget support


Informal working papers that highlight emerging findings and relevant policy messages from evaluation.

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12 lessons - evaluating‌‌‌‌

 June 2013

 Evaluating Development Activities - 12 Lessons from the OECD DAC


The 12 Lessons series pulls together knowledge on good practice in development  co-operation from the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), drawing in particular on the findings of the DAC’s peer reviews.

Evaluating development co-operation activities is one of the areas where the DAC’s influence on policy and practice can most readily be observed. Having an evaluation system that is well-established is one of the conditions of becoming a member of the DAC. Each peer review examines the set-up and management of the evaluation function, using the norms and standards developed by the DAC’s Network on Development Evaluation.

The Network is one of the longest standing subsidiary bodies of the DAC and evaluation is now used extensively by donors, partner governments and implementing agencies.

In English

In French

In Korean

In Portuguese

History of DAC Network - Thumbnail

June 2013

The DAC Network on Development Evaluation - 30 years of strengthening

This document looks back at the work of the DAC Evaluation Network over the past 30 years, describing how the group has evolved over time and its key contributions. It will be presented at the Network's 30th anniversary celebration on 18 June 2013. It has been prepared by Niel Dabelstein, former Chair of the Network

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 Evaluation Insights

Informal working papers that highlight emerging findings and relevant policy messages from evaluation.

November 2012

Evaluating Peacebuilding Activities in Settings of Conflict and Fragility:
Improving Learning for Results

The DAC Network on Development Evaluation and the DAC Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF) worked together to develop this guidance -- to strengthen learning and improve development results in situations of conflict and fragility, by gathering policy lessons and developing shared approaches to evaluation.

 In French




December 2010


Evaluation in Development Agencies

This study describes the role and management of evaluation in development agencies and multilateral banks.


June 2010


Evaluating Development Co-operation: Summary of key norms and standards

Contains the main elements of the OECD DAC's approach to evaluation, including evaluation criteria, core principles and quality standards.


Version française


April 2010


The DAC Quality Standards for Development Evaluation provide a guide to good practice in development evaluation. They are intended to improve the quality of evaluation processes and products and to facilitate collaboration.

In English:  DAC Quality Standards for Development Evaluation

In French:  Normes de qualité pour l’évaluation du développement

In Arabic/English/French: معايير الجودة لتقييم التنمية


In German: Qualitätsstandards für die Entwicklungsevaluierung

In Korean:  DAC 개발평가 품질기준

In Portuguese: Normas de Qualidade para a Avaliação do Desenvolvimento

In Spanish: Estándares de calidad para la evaluación del desarrollo

February 2010


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.

 Nonie guidance

April 2009

Impact evaluations and development: NONIE guidance on impact evaluation

This publication is structured around nine key issues that provide guidance on conceptualising, designing, and implementing an impact evaluation.


October 2006

 Guidance for Managing Joint Evaluations:
This booklet is a practical guide for managers of joint evaluations of development assistance programmes.

Also available in FrenchSpanish and Korean



 Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management
A valuable reference guide in evaluation training and in practical development work
Available in: Trilingual version: English/ French/ Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, German, Glossario dei principali termini utilizzati negli ambiti valutazione e gestione basata sui risultati, Japanese, Glossario Da Avaliçao e Da Gestao Centrada os Resultados, KiswahiliKoreanRussian, Swedish, Turkish



March 2006

 Evaluation Systems and Use, an Assessment Tool for Peer Reviews and assessments:
This assessment framework has been developed by the Network to strengthen the evaluation function and to promote transparency and
accountability within development agencies.
Also available in Portuguese





 Lessons Learned on Donor Support to Decentralisation and Local Governance
This study presents a synthesis of recent evaluations of programmes and projects supporting decentralisation and local governance in developing countries.



 Review of Gender and Evaluation
This review’s purpose was to distil experiences with evaluating gender equality objectives, in order to improve evaluation practice and development outcomes.



1. Guidance for Evaluating Humanitarian Assistance in Complex Emergencies
This Guidance is aimed at those involved in the commissioning, design and management of evaluations of humanitarian assistance programmes principally within donor organisations but is also likely to be of use to UN agencies, NGOs and other organisations involved in the provision of humanitarian assistance.


2.Evaluating Country Programmes, Vienna Workshop 1999

This publication provides a unique overview of approaches and methods for country programme evaluation.



3. Donor Support for Institutional Capacity Development in Environment: Lessons Learned
This study acknowledges the considerable progress made in terms of the growing mainstreaming of environmental issues and recognises the need for additional efforts in the context of widespread institutional capacity development.


4. Effective Practices in Conducting a Joint Multi-Donor Evaluation 

This publication provides guidance on how to plan and conduct a joint evaluation of development programmes when more than one donor agency is involved



5. Evaluation Feedback for Effective Learning and Accountability
Evaluation systems face many challenges. In addition to the quality, relevance and timeliness of the evaluation itself, a major challenge lies in conveying the evaluation results to multiple audiences both inside and outside development agencies.




DAC Principles and Criteria

DAC Criteria for Evaluating Development Assistance 

Principles for Evaluation of Development Assistance (1991)  

In Portuguese


More on the principles (website)

DAC Principles for effective aid  (1992)  

 (1998) The objective of the review was to examine the implementation and use of the Principles, in order to assess their impact, usefulness and relevance and to make recommendations. 

Other documents


Joint Evaluations: Recent experiences, lessons learned and options for the future 


Partners in Development Evaluation: Learning and Accountability (Paris, France)
- Summary
- Workshop Proceedings


More...  (workshop)


Aid Responses to Afghanistan: lessons from previous evaluations
Version française


Executive Summary (Executive Summary)


Background Report (Background paper)


Evaluation of programs promoting participatory development and good governance


A history of the DAC Expert Group on aid evaluation


Aid Evaluation - The experience of members of the Development Assistance Committee and od International Organisations


Evaluation Guidelines