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Launching Joint Evaluations in Developing Countries

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Launching Joint Evaluations in Developing Countries (UNDP)

Summary Advice: Joint evaluations can promote ownership of evaluation results, help develop national evaluation capacities, enhance the relevance and effectiveness of aid, and promote the principle of mutual accountability.

Main Points:  The UNDP has devised best practices based on its lessons learned when implementing such evaluations. The push for greater participation and ownership of evaluation is, in part, a response to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005). This declaration commits donor countries to improve the effectiveness of development cooperation.

There are different types of joint evaluations, varying according to the degree of participation and ownership by the partner countries.

Joint evaluations can:

  • Promote ownership of the evaluation results by the partner countries, which increases the probability that the evaluation results will be used by them;
  • Stimulate or support the development of the national evaluation capacity;
  • Enhance the relevance and effectiveness of aid by providing evidence for the better alignment of aid to the needs and priorities of the partner country.
  • Promote the principle of mutual accountability for development results.

However, joint evaluations have their own challenges and thus require evaluators to:

  • Build enough time for the planning and scoping of the evaluation so as to avoid the need to narrow the scope of the evaluation, have enough time for internal consultations with the government departments and other agencies, and address major differences in understanding;
  • Avoid scope creep so as to prevent a rushed evaluation that does not meet the expectations of stakeholders and increases in the management and coordination complexity of the process;
  • Keep the governance arrangements clear and simple so as to avoid getting bogged down in unnecessary bureaucratic processes and decision-making;
  • Promote ownership of the joint evaluation by requiring all stakeholders to contribute funding to the process;
  • Assess the local in-country capacity so as to implement appropriate levels of ‘jointness’;
  • Ensure that there is a common understanding of historical, political, economic and cultural specificities as well as an understanding of the context and realities of the donor agencies and evaluation organizations;
  • Build mutual trust so as to ensure true openness and acceptability of the process;
  • Take concrete action to ensure that the evaluation is independent by independently determining the evaluation design, organizing a stakeholder workshop to test emerging findings and recommendations, subjecting the draft report to a peer review process, and logging all comments related to the evaluation; and
  • Ensure that the local government, the development agency in question, and the evaluation team demonstrate joint leadership.

Source: UNDP (2007),  "Developing National Capacities for Country Monitoring and Evaluation Systems" at: (accessed 1 December 2012).

Page Created By: Ruby Dagher on 4 January 2013. 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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