What is evaluation? Why do it? Is it a tool for improving programs? Does it feel intimidating and burdensome because you don’t know much about it? What is the state of play in evaluation of peacebuilding? This section provides introductory information on evaluation of peacebuilding and background on how peacebuilding evaluation has evolved.

What Types of Evaluations are There?

There are several different types of evaluations that can be undertaken at different times in the life cycle of a peacebuilding initiative. Some of the most common include: formative, summative, impact, developmental, and process evaluations. This section provides an overview of some of these different types of evaluation. Additional information on evaluation types can be found in the "What Books and Toolkits Should I have on my Shelf as Resources?" and "Where can I Find Additional Resources?" sections.

Process Evaluation

Impact Evaluation

  • Chigas, Diana, Madeline Church, and Vanessa Corlazzoli. “Evaluating Impacts of Peacebuilding Interventions: Approaches and Methods, Challenges and Considerations.” CCVRI Guidance Series. London: DFID, 2014.

    This guidance is intended to help staff a) understand the challenges and opportunities of evaluating impacts of interventions that aim to build and achieve peace by targeting, directly or indirectly, key drivers of conflict and peace (peacebuilding interventions), and b) work with evaluators to ensure evaluation designs are appropriate, robust and conflict-sensitive. See pages 2-10 for an introduction to impact evaluation and its purposes.

  • InterAction. Impact Evaluation Guidance Note and Webinar Series. Washington, D.C.: InterAction, 2012.

    This series contains a series of guidance notes (in English, French, Spanish and Arabic), webinars on approaches and methods, and webinars on NGO experiences with methods.  There are four guidance notes with associated webinars:

    • An Introduction to Impact Evaluation (including how it differs from other types of evaluation and why it should be done, when and by whom);
    • Linking Monitoring and Evaluation to Impact Evaluation (illustrating the relationship between routine M&E and impact evaluation – in particular, how both monitoring and evaluation activities can support meaningful and valid impact evaluation)
    • Introduction to Mixed Methods in Impact Evaluation (explaining) what a mixed methods impact evaluation design is and what distinguishes this approach from quantitative or qualitative impact evaluation designs)
    • Use of Impact Evaluation Results (highlighting three themes crucial for effective utilization of evaluation results).
  • UNICEF. Impact Evaluation Series. Florence: UNICEF Office of Research, 2014.

    This series of briefs and videos on impact evaluation, developed by UNICEF in collaboration with RMIT UniversityBetterEvaluation and 3ie, covers the building blocks of impact evaluation. There are ten briefs with videos on specific topics related to Overview of Impact Evaluation, Strategies for Causal Attribution and Data Collection and Analysis Methods in Impact Evaluation.

Overview and Introduction to Types of Evaluation

Developmental Evaluation

Formative Evaluation

Summative Evaluation

What is Peacebuilding Evaluation and How has it Evolved?

This section provides an overview of the historical evolution of the peacebuilding evaluation field, and hence can be of particular interest and utility to evaluation professionals who do not have a background on peacebuilding and may be looking to familiarize themselves with what evaluation looks like in this field.

The Evolution of the Peacebuilding Evaluation Field

What is Evaluation and Why is it Useful?

The resources in this section are intended to provide an overview of the field of evaluation. This introductory section can be useful particularly to peacebuilding practitioners who do not have an evaluation background.

About Evaluation

What Books and Toolkits Should I have on my Shelf as Resources? “Top Five” Key Books and Toolkits: Library Must Haves

While this Field Guide focuses on online resources, there are key books/print resources that anyone engaged in peacebuilding evaluation should have. This section features a few key reference books and toolkits on evaluation in general, as well as on peacebuilding evaluation.

Peacebuilding Evaluation

For Evaluation Managers

Where Can I Find Good Comprehensive “How To” Toolkits and Resources Available Online?

These are “soup to nuts” general evaluation/peacebuilding evaluation “how to” guides that can be found online. Users of these materials can be peacebuilding practitioners with little or no evaluation experience, as well as evaluators without a background on peacebuilding evaluation.

Toolkits and Resources

Where can I Find Additional Resources?

These websites are dedicated to both M&E in general or M&E of peacebuilding, and offer relevant and up-to-date guidance material, along with other options for sharing and learning about evaluation, including blogs and discussions, events, etc.

Websites Dedicated to M&E or M&E of Peacebuilding

  • DME for Peace

    DME for Peace was created to provide peacebuilding professionals with a platform to share tools, methodologies and findings among the community to help them identify and demonstrate what works, what does not and why.

  • Better Evaluation

    This comprehensive site features a significant amount of up-to-date resources, toolkits and guidance materials on evaluation, along with blogs and discussions on the latest in evaluation where practitioners and academics share their knowledge and experiences.

  • My M and E

    My M&E is an interactive Web 2.0 platform to share knowledge on country-led M&E systems worldwide. In addition to being a learning source, My M&E facilitates the strengthening of a global community, while identifying good practices and lessons learned about monitoring and evaluation in general, and country-led M&E systems in particular.

  • Genuine Evaluation

    This blog by highly respected evaluators Patricia Rogers and Jane Davidson addresses a range of evaluation topics in simple, understandable form—with a focus on complex situations.

What if I don’t Understand What a Term or Word Means? Are there Glossaries of Evaluation Terminology?

The resources listed here are but a sample of the multiple glossaries available on design, monitoring and evaluation. Due to its comprehensiveness and general use, the OECD DAC glossary is suggested here, along with UNFPA guidance reflecting common terms within the United Nations.  Given the large number of glossaries available, readers are encouraged to consult other sources.

Glossaries on Design, Monitoring and Evaluation

Are there Quality Standards for Evaluations?

Relevant to all stakeholders, evaluation standards are crucial for ensuring that evaluations are carried out correctly in order to contribute to both learning and accountability. It is important to remember that there are different national evaluation association standards. The two listed here are but a sample of the standards available, and users of the Field Guide are encouraged to consult other standards.

Evaluation Standards