Establishing an evaluation panel
Establishing and running an evaluation panel needs considerable planning and effort to be successful. Some key points are described below.
Select panel members carefully: Ensure that a range of skills is represented and, if possible, a range of views so that findings are valid and credible. Where possible, also try to include some members who represent collaborators or clients so that evaluation needs are considered throughout the panel process. Include a panel member who is common to the evaluation panel for each CAP theme or compile a panel that crosses the range of themes so that cross-benefits or issues can be identified and reported on.
Use an independent and skilled chair or facilitator: This will ensure that the panel process runs smoothly and allows others to support information and deliberation requirements.
Provide a comprehensive package of information to the panel in advance of the first meeting so that members have time to consider all information necessary to the evaluation, including its purpose, how the panel will be run and its terms of reference. Ensure adequate time is allowed for preparation of the information package because input from many collaborators may be required.
Hold an introductory panel meeting to agree on the panel process, information needs, timing of meetings and other detail related to the evaluation panel process. This will enable panel members to identify any additional information required or alternative analysis of existing information that may inform the panel evaluation.
Provide technical support officers to present technical advice to the panel where required. Team members who have been involved in developing the project or program, the logical framework and the evaluation plan will be valuable to the panel.
Provide administrative support to record and distribute all information presented, fact or understanding raised and deliberations of the panel. Use an agreed worksheet to record deliberations. Administrative support should be provided by an officer with technical skills in the relevant area.
Ensure that panel members' comments and recommendations are agreed to prior to final documentation in the evaluation report.
Ensure that panel members are able to view the draft report before its finalisation and distribution.
Page last updated: 27 February 2011