There are several ways of doing an evaluation. Some of the more common methods you may have come across are;
- Internal evaluation
- Rapid participatory appraisal
- External evaluation
- Interactive evaluation
This involves an organization or project holding up a mirror to itself and assessing how it is doing, as a way of learning and improving practice.
It takes a very self-reflective and honest organization to do this effectively, but it can be a practical learning experience too.
This is intended to involve as many people with a direct stake in the work as possible.
This may mean project staff and beneficiaries are working together on the evaluation. If an outsider is called in, he or she is to act as a facilitator of the process, but not as an evaluator.
Rapid participatory appraisal
This is a qualitative way of doing evaluations. It is semi-structured and carried out by an interdisciplinary team over a short time.
It is used as a starting point for understanding a local situation and is a quick, cheap, and useful way to gather information. It involves the use of secondary data review, direct observation, semi-structured interviews, key informants, group discussions, games, diagrams, maps, and calendars.
In an evaluation context, it allows one to get valuable input from those who are supposed to be benefiting from the development work. It is flexible and interactive.
This is an evaluation done by a carefully chosen outsider or outsider team with adequate experience and expertise.
This involves a very active interaction between an outside evaluator or evaluation team and the personnel in an organization or project being evaluated.