Evaluation of development programmes

Collaborative Evaluations


The DAC Network on Development Evaluation promotes joint and collaborative evaluations (involving multiple development partners) as a tool for mutual accountability and learning. To facilitate collaboration, members of the Network share their evaluation plans. Visualise the inventory of evaluation plans here.

The Network has served as the coordinating hub for major international joint evaluations, such as the multi-partner evaluation of general budget support and the recently completed evaluation of the Paris Declaration. Network meetings provide an opportunity to share ideas and learn from one another's experiences with joint and country-led evaluation.

The Network is currently exploring options for conducting a joint evaluation on COVID-19. Given the urgency of support that will be required within DAC member countries and partner countries and the scale at which it is likely to be deployed, support for effective evaluation is more important than ever.

EvalNet facilitates collaboration as a means of encouraging both better co-ordinated and higher quality evaluation. A wide range of collaborative approaches have been used in the past, and can be useful complements to individual evaluations. Several options are outlined below, arranged roughly in order of increasing intensity.

  1. Evidence reviews and recommendations: Rapid evidence reviews, drawing on past responses to inform decisions. Example: ADB COVID-19 Lessons
  2. Real-time joint evaluation: Evaluative analysis that is done while interventions are still underway, to support decision making. Examples/resources:  Humanitarian Real-Time Evaluations;  UNICEF Desk Review on Real-time
  3. Support for collaboration and reducing the evaluation burden: Developing “off the shelf” products, such as a context analysis, landscaping, an evaluation framework, a repository of evaluative reports and studies, and recorded interviews or other data sets that can be shared. These products can be used by various evaluation stakeholders to make their evaluations more coherent and efficient, while reducing the burden on implementing partners. Example: Haiti Earthquake Evaluation Task Force
  4. Joint evaluation: Interested members and partners from national governments, multilateral and UN organisations, develop a shared evaluation framework and methodological approach, with one or more evaluations carried out together, followed by synthesis work. Example: Budget support evaluations
  5. System-wide joint evaluation: Involves creating an independent governance structure covering all actors to carry out a joint evaluation. Example: Indian Ocean Tsunami Evaluation Coalition and Rwanda Genocide Response Evaluation
  6.  Country-led joint evaluations: An independent governance structure set up to develop a shared evaluation framework and then a series of thematic, development co-operation provider, and partner country evaluations.
    Example: Evaluation of the implementation of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness


‌‎‌‌Factsheet on Managing Joint Evalautions



Managing Joint Evaluations

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What is joint evaluation?

When are joint approaches more
(or less) suitable?

And, what are the potential benefits and challenges?

This factsheet answers these questions and more.



Key Links



Collaborative Partner Donor Evaluation Initiative


When to consider a joint evaluation?




 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.


Short history of the Network’s work on joint evaluations:

In 2012, the Network organised a Workshop on Lessons Learned from Joint Evaluations in order to summarise the experiences from primarily the Paris Declaration Evaluation, but also from other large, recently undertaken, joint evaluations.  The workshop was co-hosted by the Paris Declaration Evaluation Secretariat and the French Ministry of Finance.


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 DAC Guidance for managing joint evaluations (Orientations relatives à la gestion des évaluations conjointes). 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, Joint Evaluations: Recent experiences, lessons learned and options for the future (26 July 2005) 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 (Workshop Report - Workshop on Joint Evaluations Challenging the Conventional Wisdom - the View from Developing Country Partners, Nairobi, 20-21 April 2005).

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: "Effective Practices in Conducting a Joint Multi-Donor Evaluation".



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