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Choosing the Right Evaluator

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Practice Advice in Evaluation and Performance Measurement

Choosing the Right Evaluator (OECD)

Description: Independent evaluation is appropriate when the objectives are to improve accountability and transparency. However, policy managers, or the administration in general, may be reluctant to accept the findings and recommendations.


  • Self evaluation by an organisation is appropriate when the main objectives are organisational learning and improved implementation. However, the time and skills of staff may be insufficient, the range of issues covered may be limited and the credibility of findings may also be questioned.
  • Evaluation by central management agencies is appropriate when the objective is improving budget priorities and when it is important that the evaluator has close links with decision-making processes.
  • Evaluation by external evaluators (e.g., research bodies and management consultants) is appropriate when the objective is to provide new perspectives on public policies or when there is a need for specialised evaluation skills. However, these evaluators may have limited understanding of the substance and the culture of the evaluated policy or organisation and offer theoretical evaluations.
  • Performance audits are often similar to evaluations. Their key features include independence of the auditor and a focus on accountability rather than improvement.

Source: OECD (1998). Best Practice Guidelines For Evaluation at (accessed 23 November, 2012).

Page Created By: Matthew Seddon. on 23 November 2012. Updated by Ian Clark on 2 January 2012. The content presented on this page is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases. This material does not necessarily reflect the official view of the publishing organization.

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