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All but a few member agencies use external, competitively recruited consultants as a primary means of creating independence. Or they rely on in-house staff with no connections to the operational activities in question. Reference or steering groups charged with quality assurance for the process are also used quite frequently, sometimes incorporating external experts with agency staff to balance ownership of involved stakeholders with independent outsiders. DFID’s Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact is one of the strongest examples of separate entity overseeing evaluation and development effectiveness (see the United Kingdom profile in Chapter 3).
Evaluations undertaken primarily with an accountability focus for an individual agency tend to have agency-specific lessons that are harder to “borrow” or generalise, limiting the scope for joint work. Despite progress in sharing evaluation plans and a high level of collaboration among members, it remains to be seen whether member agency practice has actually become more joint in terms of setting evaluation plans. Responses to the member questionnaire regarding the planning process demonstrate that the majority of evaluation topics are selected based on agency or domestic priorities identified through primarily internal planning processes.
18. Several stated that this varies widely from evaluation to evaluation with some evaluations responding primarily to partner needs and others focused on contributing to donor accountability or learning. Others stated that their goal is to respond to domestic needs and that addressing partner concerns is not in their mandate. Evaluation in Development Agencies – © OECD 2010 43 2. 19. Partner involvement in evaluation SETTING EVALUATION PLANS & WORK PROGRAMMES... IN SETTING EVALUATION PLANS & WORK PROGRAMMES?
Better Aid: Evaluation in Development Agencies by OECD