The decision to evaluate a strategy, project, or activity should be based on the decision-making needs of a Mission or Washington OU, the policy requirements for evaluation, learning needs, and practical considerations.
Evaluations are required in three instances (see ADS 22.214.171.124):
- Each OU or Mission with a CDCS, RDCS or other strategy must conduct at least one evaluation per intermediate result (IR) defined in the OU’s strategy. This evaluation can focus on any level within the IR: intervention, activity, set of activities, or the intermediate result as a whole.
- Each Mission and Washington OU must conduct an impact evaluation, if feasible, of any new, untested approach that is anticipated to be expanded in scale or scope through U.S. Government foreign assistance or other funding sources. (This evaluation may count as one of the evaluations required under Requirement 1.)
- OUs must conduct at least one evaluation per activity (contracts, orders, grants, and cooperative agreements) with a TEC/TEA expected to be $20 million or more. (This evaluation may count as one of the evaluations required under Requirement 1.)
In these cases, decisions need to be made about when and how these projects will be evaluated.
Strategies/projects/activities that are not required to be evaluated may still be evaluated at any point in implementation for learning or management purposes. In this case, decisions need to be made about whether to evaluate, what type of evaluation (performance or impact) to conduct, what type of evaluation team (internal or external) would be appropriate, and when the evaluation should be conducted. In the case of potentially large, expensive, or lengthy evaluations (particularly impact evaluations), an evaluability assessment may be a worthwhile investment prior to planning an evaluation.