Evaluation of development programmes

Key publications and documents




Responding to Refugee Crisis in Developing Countries: What can we learn from evaluations?

The world is facing a refugee crisis that is unprecedented in scale, with over 65 million people currently displaced. This report draws from the evaluation work of OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) members and aims to strengthen the evidence base to help improve future responses to refugee crises in developing countries. It is complemented by case studies on Afghanistan, South Sudan, Ethiopia/Uganda.

Evaluation Systems in Development Co-operation, 2016 Review


Read about recent trends and challenges in the evaluation systems of members of the DAC Network on Development Evaluation.





 Evaluating Development Activities - 12 Lessons from the OECD DAC


The 12 Lessons series pulls together knowledge on good practice in development  co-operation from the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), drawing in particular on the findings of the DAC’s peer reviews.

Evaluating development co-operation activities is one of the areas where the DAC’s influence on policy and practice can most readily be observed. Having an evaluation system that is well-established is one of the conditions of becoming a member of the DAC. Each peer review examines the set-up and management of the evaluation function, using the norms and standards developed by the DAC’s Network on Development Evaluation.

The Network is one of the longest standing subsidiary bodies of the DAC and evaluation is now used extensively by donors, partner governments and implementing agencies.

In French

In Korean

In Portuguese

The DAC Network on Development Evaluation - 30 years of strengthening


This document looks back at the work of the DAC Evaluation Network over the past 30 years, describing how the group has evolved over time and its key contributions. It will be presented at the Network's 30th anniversary celebration on 18 June 2013. It has been prepared by Niel Dabelstein, former Chair of the Network

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Evaluation in Development Agencies

This study describes the role and management of evaluation in development agencies and multilateral banks.

Evaluating Development Co-operation: Summary of key norms and standards

Contains the main elements of the OECD DAC's approach to evaluation, including evaluation criteria, core principles and quality standards.

The DAC Quality Standards for Development Evaluation provide a guide to good practice in development evaluation. They are intended to improve the quality of evaluation processes and products and to facilitate collaboration.

In English:  DAC Quality Standards for Development Evaluation

In French:  Normes de qualité pour l’évaluation du développement

In Arabic/English/French: معايير الجودة لتقييم التنمية

In German: Qualitätsstandards für die Entwicklungsevaluierung

In Korean:  DAC 개발평가 품질기준

In Portuguese: Normas de Qualidade para a Avaliação do Desenvolvimento

In Spanish: Estándares de calidad para la evaluación del desarrollo


Supporting Evaluation Capacity Development
This tip-sheet provides basic advice to evaluators on how best to support evaluation capacity development through their regular evaluation work, outlining elements of a more “capacity-friendly” approach to evaluating development co-operation.


Impact evaluations and development: NONIE guidance on impact evaluation

This publication is structured around nine key issues that provide guidance on conceptualising, designing, and implementing an impact evaluation.

Guidance for Managing Joint Evaluations

This booklet is a practical guide for managers of joint evaluations of development assistance programmes.

Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management 

A valuable reference guide in evaluation training and in practical development work

 Evaluation Systems and Use, an Assessment Tool for Peer Reviews and assessments
This assessment framework has been developed by the Network to strengthen the evaluation function and to promote transparency and
accountability within development agencies.
Also available in Portuguese.

 Lessons Learned on Donor Support to Decentralisation and Local Governance
This study presents a synthesis of recent evaluations of programmes and projects supporting decentralisation and local governance in developing countries.


Principles for Evaluation of Development Assistance 

In Portuguese


More on the principles:

Key elements on the principles

DAC principles for effective aid  (1992)  




1. deleted docTypes for Evaluation of development programmes
This Guidance is aimed at those involved in the commissioning, design and management of evaluations of humanitarian assistance programmes principally within donor organisations but is also likely to be of use to UN agencies, NGOs and other organisations involved in the provision of humanitarian assistance.



2.Evaluating Country Programmes, Vienna Workshop 1999

This publication provides a unique overview of approaches and methods for country programme evaluation.


3. Donor Support for Institutional Capacity Development in Environment: Lessons Learned
This study acknowledges the considerable progress made in terms of the growing mainstreaming of environmental issues and recognises the need for additional efforts in the context of widespread institutional capacity development.



4. Effective Practices in Conducting a Joint Multi-Donor Evaluation 

This publication provides guidance on how to plan and conduct a joint evaluation of development programmes when more than one donor agency is involved


5. Evaluation Feedback for Effective Learning and Accountability
Evaluation systems face many challenges. In addition to the quality, relevance and timeliness of the evaluation itself, a major challenge lies in conveying the evaluation results to multiple audiences both inside and outside development agencies.




Other resources


Joint Evaluations: Recent experiences, lessons learned and options for the future2005


Partners in Development Evaluation: Learning and Accountability2003 -


DAC Development Partnership Forum: Managing for Development Results and Aid Effectiveness2002


Aid Responses to Afghanistan: lessons from previous evaluations, 2001 - Version française


Results-Based Management in the Development Co-operation Agencies: A Review of Experience, (Executive Summary), 2000


deleted docTypes for Evaluation of development programmes, 1997


A history of the DAC Expert Group on aid evaluation, 1993




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