Purposes of Evaluation
Purposes of Evaluation<ref>A UNICEF Guide for Monitoring and Evaluation</ref>
Evaluation is the systematic collection and analysis of evidence in order to improve understanding of, and to make judgements about, the object being evaluated.
It is a learning and action-oriented management tool and organizational process for improving both current activities and future planning, programming, and decision-making.
To evaluate means “to ascertain the value of worth or,” according to its Latin root. Knowing what difference programs are making motivates workers and their supporters to renewed effort. Although evaluations may be retrospective, they are essentially forward looking with regard to their purpose. Evaluation applies the lessons of experience to decisions about current and future programs. Evaluation can be an excellent learning tool as well as a means to improve program performance and demonstrate accountability.
The main purposes for carrying out an evaluation of an intervention are, to:
• Help designing the intervention (planning and management)
• Assist in an efficient allocation of resources
• Improve the quality of the intervention
• Report on the achievements of the intervention (i.e. accountability)
• Ensure optimum use of its funds and other resources
• Present alternatives for decision-makers to consider
These purposes will be accomplished only if procedures are set up to ensure the following:
• That monitoring and evaluation will take place throughout the programming cycle
• That credible information about progress, problems, and potential is gathered
• That findings will be disseminated to decision-makers for use in corrective action