Monday, 15 July 2013

Guidelines for Evaluation Reports


Evaluations are analytical assessments addressing results of public policies, organisations or
programmes, that emphasise reliability and usefulness of findings. Their role is to improve information
and reduce uncertainty; however, even evaluations based on rigorous methods rely significantly on
judgement. A distinction can be made between ex-ante evaluations (or policy reviews) and ex-post
evaluations. Many practices discussed in these Guidelines apply equally to both, even if their
objectives are different.
The main objectives of evaluations are to improve decision-making, resource allocation and
accountability. This can be achieved through informing the public, informing key decision-making
processes and encouraging ongoing organisational learning.

Guidelines for Evaluation Reports

CONTENTS

A standard evaluation report starts with a cover page, a table of contents, a list of abbreviations
and acronyms and an executive summary.

The evaluation report should further contain the following main chapters: I. Introduction, II.Evaluation findings (clearly supported by evidence), III. Conclusions, IV. Recommendations and V. Lessons learned. For sub-headings to include, see attached Template report.

The attached Template report should be used by writing your text on top of those laid out in the
Word file in order to create a report with the correct format and style. 
Although the structure of the report may be adapted to the particular circumstances of an
evaluation exercise (for example, several projects may be covered by a joint report or additional
evaluation criteria may be included), the main head ings should be retained, while sub-headings
may be added, as necessary.

The main body of the report should not exceed 25-50pages depending on the scope of the
evaluation exercise (annexes excluded). Annexes should be kept to an absolute minimum (no
longer than 15 pages). Only those annexes that serve to demonstrate or clarify an issue related to a major finding should be included. 
Information should only be included in the report if it significantly affects the analysis and serves
to clarify issues. Rather than repeating information already provided, references should be made
to annexes, other parts of the report or documents used to obtain information. Sources of
information used should be referenced in a consistent manner throughout the report. 
 

FORMAT

The report should be typed in A4 format using AdobeGaramond Pro for body text and page
numbers and Myriad Pro for figures, tables and other graphical elements containing text. For text
size see attached document with typographic styles.
Pages should be numbered consecutively using Roman numerals from the table of contents until
the executive summary and Arabic numerals from the introduction until the end of the document,
including the annexes, with the numbers appearing in the middle at the bottom of the pages.
Paragraphs should not be numbered. For footnotes, see attached template report. 
 
Spell-check as well as grammar check should further be undertaken before the report is submitted.
The attached document on UN spelling should be consulted
.
The report should be submitted in electronic format in Word in black and white. 
To facilitate the typesetting of the report, standard Word-style tables as well as the original Excel
files for all "figures" and tables that employ a table format should be submitted along with the
report. Please include a country map in the report as a reference.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The section should consist of a concise executive summary of no more than four pages that
includes:
a)An introduction and the background: short description of the project evaluated including itsNobjectives;
b)The major findings of the evaluation;
c)The main conclusions;
d)The major recommendations, i.e. there should be a c
lear illustration of how the recommendations build upon the conclusions, which in turn build upon the findings.
e)The major lessons learned.
The executive summary should be crisp and clear, communicating the most important information about the evaluation.
Evaluation reports written in a language other thanEnglish should be accompanied by an
English translation of the executive summary prepared by a competent translator and cleared by
the Independent Evaluation Unit. 

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