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Commissioning an Evaluation

For external evaluations, the completed SOW is typically incorporated into a request for proposals (RFPs) or request for procurement. For Missions and Washington Operating Units with existing M&E support contracts, or M&E “Platforms,” this will not be the case.

Part of the value-added function of the Program Office is to suggest potential implementing mechanisms for carrying out the evaluation. There are numerous options for procuring evaluation services, including field and Washington mechanisms supported by a variety of USAID offices. Missions should also consider the use of local evaluation contractors. If USAID staff is expected to participate on the evaluation team, that expectation should be acknowledged in the solicitation.

Although procurement typically occurs at the end of the planning phase of the evaluation process, the Evaluation POC (or designee) should work with their contract officers to consider possible mechanisms early in the planning process, since the choice of mechanism can have implications on the budget and timing of the evaluation.

Special consideration should be taken with regard to timing of contracts for impact evaluations. In cases where impact evaluations are undertaken, it is a good practice to establish a parallel award at the inception of the intervention to accompany implementation. If possible, the evaluation team should be in place before implementation starts in order to conduct the baseline and provide guidance related to the selection of treatment and comparison/control groups.


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