As we are involved in the implementation of our project and the first results start coming, the need for an external evaluation may seem preposterous. Even worst, the assessment maybe carried out only for the sake of the funding organization, in the view to present the next project in a favorable light.
Of course, these are the worst-case scenarios and a majority of organizations have already interiorized that the external analysis is not only part of the game, but one of the most beneficial dimensions of project management. Why?
– First, it is a learning process. The external intervention will allow you to observe different methods, to exchange about your doubts and ideas and to perceive your project under a new light, in a learn-by-doing approach.
– Second, quality of the last phase of the project and of the subsequent actions will be improved. The lessons learnt will be highlighted by the evaluator, thus avoiding you to fall once again in the same mistakes. The lessons to be learnt are more easily identified if pointed out by an outer person.
– Third, authenticity. In a world where everybody, from businesses to individuals, are searching for a brand, a good evaluation of the actions carried out by your organization or community will stand as a label for trust.
Have you acted as an external evaluator? Would you add any factor?
As for tips, a general overview of requirements of the different funding bodies, highlights the following orientations:
– External evaluation should have been forecasted in the project scheme, defining both the profile of the evaluator and the methodology (schedule/ objectives …) thereof. As far as possible, it should follow-up all the phases of the project.
– The project manager should choose the evaluator through a detailed call for proposals (also known as Terms of Reference, ToR). Any individual having a direct /indirect relation with the organization /project should be discarded.
– In addition, the selection must always meet the local / regional, national and international (should it be the case) requirements /law in respect of grants and public funding.
Should you want to add any other orientation or consider that I should analyse one of them in depth, please leave me a comment.