RE: What can evaluations do in terms of capacity development? | Eval Forward


Naturally, it is important to enhance the skill of evaluators; but apart from some general considerations applicable to every evaluator, one must not overlook the wide variety of projects involved, makes it necessary for an evaluator to develop certain skills specific for each project type. For instance, the skill needed to assess a road is categorically different from what is needed to evaluate the successful completion of a health facility, say, a hospital.

Let us assume that a given project has been successfully completed, and an excellent evaluation has been made. Is it reasonable to assume that is all what's required? Some may be tempted to say, what else? We've done what we've been hired for, and now our job is done well. True, as far as it goes.

If we are content with that, I think we have missed something crucial. That is simply this; when the celebrations are over and project personnel and the evaluators depart, how well will the beneficiaries utilize what has been put in place? Would they be able to undertake necessary maintenance and improvements on their own? Would they be able to make good use of it? Or would it remain a successfully completed monument to the planners' lack of sense of proportion? In other words, a white elephant or a prestige project of little or no utility.

It is this aspect of capacity building I tried to bring to the fore in my first comment on this subject. I believe it is the duty of an evaluator to ascertain the public's ability to use what is planned, and if necessary to induce the planners to incorporate into project plans measures to enhance user's competence to benefit from it.


Lal Manavado

Senior advisor

Norwegian Directorate of Health