The use of OECD criteria in impact evaluations

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About the webinar

During this webinar, we go over the OECD criteria and their use in impact evaluations. We discuss their role in evaluating development and humanitarian assistance and look intro how we can work having in mind these criteria; effectiveness, relevance, efficiency, impact, sustainability and coherence.

In summary, we explore:

Impact evaluation key considerations:

  • Impact evaluation purpose
  • Impact evaluation principles
  • What is different in the Evaluation of Humanitarian Action?

Efficiently Working with OECD-DAC Criteria:

  • Introduction and purpose of the OECD-DAC criteria
  • Working with the 6 different criteria
  • Example of best practices

View the presentation slides of the Webinar.

Is this Webinar for me?

  • Are you working on impact evaluations or is this a field that interests you?
  • Are you looking for a refresher on impact evaluations or the OECD-DAC criteria?
  • Do you wish to ask questions about impact evaluations and the OECD criteria?

Then, watch our webinar!

Questions and Answers

What are ICT tools?

ICT (Information and communication technology), covers all technical means used to handle information and aid communication. This includes both computer and network hardware, as well as their software.

What does OECD stand for?

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a unique forum where the governments of 37 democracies with market-based economies collaborate to develop policy standards to promote sustainable economic growth.

In how much time from project implementation should the impact evaluations be conducted?

The timeline depends on the context and the purpose of the evaluation. For example, if we have a pilot project, and we need to evaluate it because we need to produce learning for the scale up, this can be conducted at the end of the pilot phase. Also depending on the methodology, if we conduct an experimental approach, we may need a baseline and an endline survey, thus, the evaluation is implemented from the very beginning.

How is OECD criteria different from the ANLAP Criteria?

The ALNAP criteria build upon the OECD criteria.

Are there differences/aspects that we need to consider in the OECD-DAC criteria between humanitarian projects and development projects?

The purpose, the context drives the use. We can say that evaluation does not differ between the two cases but simply the context may require a purpose modification, thus, We may place more weight on efficiency for instance, as sustainability may not be a relevant criterion at the moment.

Why is there a link between LFA (Logical Framework Approach) and Impact Evaluation? Could you please specify the logical reason in this regard?

The logical Framework is the basis of monitoring and the basis of the indicators used during the monitoring process. Thus, this information serves as (1) drive evaluation questions as impact evaluation frequently focuses on the upper levels of logical framework - namely, Intermediate results, objective and Goal (2) information collected during the monitoring process (i.e. indicators) leads to more focused and useful impact evaluations.

Does the order of evaluation criteria matter?

The order of evaluation criteria can impact the evaluation process and outcomes. It may influence the focus, interpretation, and weighting of criteria, potentially biasing the evaluation. Careful consideration of the order is important for a comprehensive and unbiased evaluation.

Like impact, can sustainability be assessed immediately after project close-out?

Assessing sustainability immediately after project close-out can be challenging as it may not provide sufficient time to observe the long-term effects and durability of the project. Sustainability is often evaluated over an extended period to determine if the project's outcomes and benefits can be maintained or expanded beyond the project's lifespan. This allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the project's ability to endure and create lasting impact. However, certain indicators or factors related to sustainability, such as the presence of supportive policies or partnerships, can be assessed to provide initial insights into the project's potential for sustainability in the short term.

Can you please give a simple example of cost effectiveness?

Cost effectiveness refers to the efficiency and value for money of a particular intervention or project. It compares the costs incurred with the outcomes achieved, allowing decision-makers to determine the most efficient use of resources. Let's say there are two programs aimed at reducing childhood malnutrition in a community. Program A costs $10,000 and reaches 100 children, resulting in a 20% reduction in malnutrition rates. Program B costs $15,000 and reaches 150 children, resulting in a 15% reduction in malnutrition rates.

To assess cost effectiveness, we can compare the cost per child reached and the cost per percentage reduction in malnutrition.

Ideally, how long after the end of the project should the impact assessment be carried out? What about sustainability assessment?

It depends on the project but between 1 to 5 years.

Is it imperative to use all the criteria on the DAC recommendation?

No, if they are all not relevant or possible(feasibility) then you need to be transparent about what was used and why.

If we do a 5-year project and plan 3 evaluations during its project period, should we apply the OECD criteria from the first evaluation?

For you to decide on the application and whether the OECD criteria are relevant for the project, you will need to consider what is the context? Why am I performing an evaluation? How will I use the evaluation etc. Generally speaking, the OECD criteria are narrowed down for specific context for specific purposes.

When we do an impact evaluation, will it by default include all the 5 remaining criteria as a part of the evaluation?

No, we evaluate and we choose those criteria that correspond to the purpose of the evaluation.

About the Speakers

Eliza Avgeropoulou earned her BSc from Athens University of Economics and Business, and her MSc degree in Economic Development and Growth from Lund University and Carlos III University, Madrid. She brings eight years of experience in M&E in international NGOs, including CARE, Innovations for Poverty Action and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The past five years, she has led the MEAL system design for various multi-stakeholders’ projects focusing on education, livelihoods, protection and cash. She believes that evidence-based decision making is the core of high quality program implementation. She now joins us as our M&E Implementation Specialist, bringing together her experience on the ground and passion for data-driven decision making to help our customers achieve success with ActivityInfo.

Victoria Manya has a diverse background and extensive expertise in data-driven impact, project evaluation, and organizational learning. She holds a Master's degree in local development strategies from Erasmus University in the Netherlands and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the African Studies Center at Leiden University. With over ten years of experience, Victoria has collaborated with NGOs, law firms, SaaS companies, tech-enabled startups, higher institutions, and governments across three continents, specializing in research, policy, strategy, knowledge valorization, evaluation, customer education, and learning for development. Her previous roles as a knowledge valorization manager at the INCLUDE platform and as an Organizational Learning Advisor at Sthrive B.V. involved delivering high- quality M&E reports, trainings, ensuring practical knowledge management, and moderating learning platforms, respectively. Today, as a Customer Education Specialist at ActivityInfo, Victoria leverages her experience and understanding of data leverage to assist customers in successfully deploying ActivityInfo.

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