The DAC Network on Development Evaluation promotes joint evaluations as a tool for mutual accountability and learning. In order to enhance transparency and facilitate collaboration, members of the Network have agreed to systematically share future evaluation plans. The Network has served as the coordinating hub for major international joint evaluations, such as the multi-partner evaluation of and the recently completed . Network meetings provide an opportunity to share ideas and learn from one another's experiences with joint and country-led evaluation.
Sharing evaluation plans
As part of our effort to facilitate collaboration, we encourage our members to share their plans for future evaluations. . The plans database allows us to get a sense of what kinds of evaluations are coming up and helps members and partners identify potential areas of mutual interest for joint work. The database contains details (country, sector or theme, timing, involved partners) on hundreds of evaluations planned over the next few years.
Short history of the Network’s work on joint evaluations :
SADEV, on behalf of the Network, undertook a study on the "Challenges, opportunities and approaches for increasing joint donor programming of evaluations in 2008. This study highlights how working together can be beneficial and explores some of the reasons why progress has been difficult. In addition, it provides concrete recommendations to help members move towards a more collaborative approach to evaluation. The Network adopted these recommendations and is now monitoring progress on several indicators. The goal of this monitoring exercise is to support the ongoing efforts of donor agencies to better involve of partner countries in evaluation processes and move towards more harmonised approaches to planning and conducting evaluations.
In 2006, the Network published the (). This booklet is directed at the wider evaluation community and provides practical advice and tips for those involved in planning and implementing joint evaluations. This guide is based on both the earlier publications mentioned above.
In 2004, the Network commissioned a consultant to undertake a study on joint evaluations. The report, was presented in June 2005. It focused on recent experiences, new and evolving issues and the partner country perspective. A consultative workshop with developing country partners was also held in Nairobi ().
In 2003, the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry, in collaboration with the DAC Evaluation Network, hosted a major workshop on Partners in Development Evaluation - Learning and accountability, which brought together evaluation experts from 43 countries to discuss topics of common concern on evaluating aid activities.
In 2000, experiences and a first set of lessons learned about joint evaluations were synthesised and published in the DAC Evaluation and Aid Effectiveness Series: .
Joint evaluations have the potential to bring many benefits to stakeholders
Mutual capacity development. Joint evaluations enable agencies (as well as partner countries and local consultants involved) to learn from each other and to share evaluation knowledge.
Harmonisation and reduced transaction costs. One joint effort instead of multiple single evaluations can clearly reduce the partner country’s transaction costs. This will also limit the number of different evaluation messages and foster consensus on recommendations for future actions.
Objectivity and legitimacy. Joint evaluations can increase the objectivity, transparency and independence of the evaluation and strengthen its legitimacy and impact. Broad participation increases ownership of findings and makes follow-up on recommendations more likely.
Broader scope. Joint evaluations can address broader evaluation questions and facilitate a perspective on multi-agency impacts beyond the results of one individual agency.
Participation, alignment and ownership. Joint evaluations should enable participation of partner country institutions. This facilitates alignment of evaluations with national needs and ownership of the evaluation process and its results.
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