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1 Designing and Conducting Useful Self-Evaluations at UNESCO Hallie Preskill, Ph.D. University of New Mexico – USA And Brad Cousins, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Designing and Conducting Useful Self-Evaluations at UNESCO Hallie Preskill, Ph.D. University of New Mexico – USA And Brad Cousins, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Designing and Conducting Useful Self-Evaluations at UNESCO Hallie Preskill, Ph.D. University of New Mexico – USA And Brad Cousins, Ph.D. University of Ottawa, CANADA June 2004

2 2 Workshop Objectives As a result of having taken this workshop, participants will: Understand how this workshop fits in the broader scope of evaluation at UNESCO. Understand how self-evaluation in UNESCO can be useful and potentially contribute to individual, team, and organizational learning. Understand how to practically and realistically design, implement and use self-evaluation studies as a working tool in the current context of their projects or activities. Have developed a self-evaluation plan for a project or activity in which they are involved. Know how to integrate the self-evaluation activities into existing work structures and processes.

3 3 Agenda Evaluation in UNESCO Components of a Self-Evaluation Plan Focusing Your Self-Evaluation Choosing Among Data Collection Methods Analysing Evaluation Data Communicating & Reporting Evaluation Processes & Findings Reflecting on the Context of Self-Evaluations Maximizing the Usefulness & Impact of Self- Evaluations Workshop evaluation and follow-up

4 4 Background for this Workshop: UNESCO Evaluation Strategy The workshops are part of a set of capacity building activities in self-evaluation, implemented by Internal Oversight Service (IOS) on a pilot basis mainly in collaboration with the Education Sector. This initiative constitutes an important aspect in the implementation of the “UNESCO Evaluation Strategy” developed by IOS and endorsed by the Executive Board. The Evaluation Strategy (as well as other recent Audit and Evaluation reports) calls for self-evaluation as a necessary complement to external independent evaluation.

5 5 Definition of Evaluation A systematic assessment of a planned, ongoing or completed intervention to determine its relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. The intent is to incorporate lessons learnt into the decision making process. (Source: adapted from OECD/DAC Glossary, 2002)

6 6 Judgement Judgement implies comparison of program performance data against some standard: –Performance in program at prior point in time –Performance of those receiving similar programs (comparative treatment) –Performance of those receiving no program (control) –External standard

7 7 Evaluation is the use of systematic inquiry to make judgements about program merit, worth and significance and to support program decision making. Summative evaluation (judgement) Formative evaluation (improvement) Who is the judge?

8 8 External Evaluation OECD Glossary Definition of External Evaluation (2002, p. 23): The evaluation of a development intervention conducted by entities and/or individuals outside the donor and implementing organisations. Independent systematic approach to answering evaluative questions Typically commissioned by senior management Written into the C/5 or conducted upon donor demand IOS facilitates the process and oversees the quality of the evaluations Conducted by external (to UNESCO) evaluation experts Selection of C/5 evaluations is presented to ExB

9 9 Self-Evaluation OECD / DAC Glossary Definition of Self-Evaluation (2002): An evaluation by those who are entrusted with the design and delivery of a development intervention. In the context of the UNESCO Evaluation Strategy: Self-evaluations are small-scale evaluation projects carried out by staff and management as part of their every-day work activities, which help them collect and use monitoring and evaluation data to answer their own questions concerning the quality and direction of their work.

10 10 Purposes of Self-Evaluation Provides opportunities for continuous reflection and learning (individual, group, organization) Provides timely information for decision making and action on a day-to-day implementation level Draws on organization members’ knowledge of the project and evaluation context Results in useful findings; recommendations meet specific information needs If done well, results are from systematic, valid, and purposeful processes; minimizes perceptive fallacies Provides opportunity to share achievements Documents what works, what does not, and possible reasons why

11 11 Benefits of Using a Collaborative Approach to Self-Evaluation Greater credibility to those involved Shared work saves resources and creates team spirit Increased learning using reflection and dialogue with others More informed interpretations of findings Greater breadth of recommendations Enhanced stakeholder evaluation capacity

12 12 A Systems Framework for Evaluation The Evaluation Process The Evaluation Environment The Organization’s Environment External Requirements and Demands

13 13 An evaluation use conceptual framework Evaluation Practice Evaluation Resources and Context Decision or Policy Setting Use of Findings Evaluation Knowledge Production Process Use

14 14 Evaluation Practice Planning (divergent / convergent) Instrument development Data collection, processing Data analysis, interpretation Reporting and follow up

15 15 Self-Evaluation Plan Components (Terms of Reference) Identifying Self-Evaluation Team Members Focusing the Self-Evaluation –Background information (and logic model) –Purpose of the evaluation –Evaluation stakeholders (intended users of results) –Evaluation scope (key questions) Designing and Implementing the Self-Evaluation –Data collection methods, instruments, sample –Evaluation timeline with specified roles and responsibilities –Communicating and reporting plan –Budget

16 16 Self-Evaluation Stakeholders Users of the evaluation findings –Primary Yourself/your team –Secondary Implementers of projects/activities Colleagues doing similar work BSP (to feed into current reporting requirements) Immediate or Intermediate Managers Leadership of the organization

17 17 Evaluation Key Questions ?Are the broad overarching questions that guide the evaluation ?Form the boundaries and scope of the evaluation ?Are typically written in an open-ended format ?Guide the choice of data collection methods ?Reflect the stakeholders’ information needs

18 18 Sample Self-Evaluation Key Questions To what extent does the project bring about the intended changes in its target group? How can this project benefit from enhanced collaboration with partners? Why does this activity work well in one region, but not in the other? For whom is this project working best? Why? What additional services, materials, and/or activities are needed to reach better outcomes? What are the unintended consequences of this activity?

19 19 Using a Program’s Logic Model to Focus a Self-Evaluation A logic model: Articulates a program’s theory of action – how it is supposed to work. Is a systematic and visual way to represent a program’s underlying theory. Helps focus an evaluation by making assumptions and expectations explicit. Increases stakeholders’ understanding about a program and its evaluation.

20 20 Logic Model Template Assumptions The underlying assumptions that influence the project’s design, implementation or objectives Resources Human, financial, organizational & community resources needed to achieve the project’s objectives Activities Things the project does with the resources to meet its objectives Outputs Products of implementing the activities, which are necessary but not sufficient indications of achieving the project’s objectives Short-term Outcomes Short-term intended and unintended changes (e.g., in knowledge, attitudes, skills) as a result of the project Long-term Outcomes Long-term intended and unintended changes (e.g., in behavior, status, systems) as a result of the project

21 21 Developing a Logic Model for Your Self-Evaluation - Activity Think of a project or work activity that you would like to self-evaluate. It should be an evaluation: –That is narrow in scope –That is doable –Where there is an intended use of findings –Where there are realistic opportunities for using the findings You may work in groups of 1-3, depending on how your work is actually organized. Using the Logic Model Template worksheet, begin to develop a logic model for your program/activity. Try to make a few notes in each of the columns.

22 22 Focusing Your Self-Evaluation Activity Revisit the Logic Model you began to draft. Using the worksheet, Focusing Your Self- Evaluation, –Make some notes regarding the background of the program/activity –Write an evaluation purpose statement –Develop 2-3 evaluation questions –Identify potential self-evaluation stakeholders –Describe the intended use of the self-evaluation's findings

23 23 Criteria for Choosing Among Data Collection Methods Evaluation questions Stakeholder preferences Respondent characteristics Respondent availability/accessibility Level of acceptable intrusiveness Validity (trustworthiness of data) Costs (time, materials, subject matter experts) Organization’s experience

24 24 A Menu of Data Collection Methods Surveys (mail, online, phone; open-ended, closed questions) Interviews (individual, focus group; conversational, semi-structured, structured) Observations (quantitative-structured; qualitative- unstructured) Records and Documents (e.g.,meeting minutes, s, technical reports, existing databases) Tests (paper, simulation, computer)

25 25 Enhancing the Validity of Data Pilot testing –Try out interview protocol, survey, or observation form with a sample similar to respondent population or have it critiqued by colleagues and/or experts. Triangulation –Multiple: methods, data sources, evaluators, and/or theories Sampling –Random/Probability – generalizable –Nonrandom/Nonprobability – not generalizable

26 26 Designing Your Self-Evaluation Activity Transfer your evaluation questions to the worksheet (top row). Discuss and note which data collection methods might be most appropriate and feasible for your self-evaluation study. Discuss and note who the respondents might be and whether you will include the entire population, or will select a sample (indicate how many you would like to include in your sample).

27 27 Considerations for Analyzing Data Evaluation Key Questions Stakeholders’ understanding of, and experience with, data analysis methods Types of data (quantitative, qualitative) Levels of quantitative data (nominal, ordinal, interval) Choices for analyzing quantitative data Choices for analyzing qualitative data Evaluator skills and time – budget implications

28 28 Why Communicate and Report? To help organization members learn from one another and jointly improve their work… To build internal capacities - learn about UNESCO’s substantive work and evaluation practice To inform decision making by program staff and management about changes that will improve their own, as well as, overall organizational performance

29 29 Why Communicate and Report? To inform funders, community members, clients, customers, program staff, management, other parts of the organization, and other organizations To demonstrate results, accountability To build awareness and support within your unit, division, sector or across sectors and other organizational entities To reflect jointly with others on findings and derive future actions To aid decision making about continued implementation and funding, as well as replication at other sites

30 30 Communicating and Reporting Strategies Facilitates Individual Learning Short communications: Memos, , postcards Interim reports Final reports Executive summaries Newsletters, Bulletins, Briefs, Brochures Newsmedia Website communications Facilitates Interactive (Group) Learning Verbal presentations Videotape/Computer generated presentations Posters and Poster Sessions Working sessions Synchronous electronic communications Personal discussions Photography Cartoons Drama-Performance Poetry

31 31 Developing Your Communicating and Reporting Plan Activity Using the Communicating and Reporting Plan worksheet, work on Steps 1-6. Steps 7-8 can be completed when more of your self-evaluation plan has been developed.

32 32 How Can We Maximize the Usefulness and Impact of Our Self-Evaluations? Hold meetings with each other to discuss progress, ask questions, seek feedback Use the evaluation planning worksheets provided in this workshop Record questions and lessons learned throughout the process ( ) Make use of IOS resource person specifically available to support self-evaluation projects Consider linkages between this self-evaluation work and RBM reporting requirements Participate in a poster session in mid-September to share findings from the planned self-evaluations

33 33 Ideal Use Abuse Rational non-use Political non-use Mistaken Use Mischievous Use USE NON-USE MISUSE LEGIT USE

34 34 Workshop Follow up Current status of “Learning from Evaluation” survey process (with Education Sector staff) Follow-up to this workshop: –Support for self-evaluation projects (IOS contact: Sandy Taut) –Online support materials: slides, handouts, workshop audiotape transcription –Ongoing assessment of self-evaluation processes based on observations and discussions

35 35 Additional Resources Canadian Evaluation Society – American Evaluation Association – Australasian Evaluation Society – European Evaluation Society – Société Française de l'Évaluation – See for standards of professional practice, ethics etc. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation –

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