• Sanjukta Moorthy

Types of Evaluation

When you're planning an evaluation - commissioning one from a consultant or doing one yourself - here are some types you can consider:


Improves and refines an existing project. It helps you identify what influenced the progress and effectiveness of your work.

Done early in the project's implementation, up until the midpoint.


It helps you understand how well a project is being implemented. If done afterwards, how well it was implemented. This is especially useful if you are evaluating a pilot project and want to replicate or scale your project.

Also done during project implementation, but more often found towards the midpoint or at the end.

Impact or Outcome

assess the effectiveness of a project in meeting its goals and producing change. Impact evaluations use rigorous data collection and analysis and control groups.

Usually done at the project's end. But uses baseline data gathered at the start and regular, rigorous progress monitoring.


Judges the performance of the project. Usually done at the end of the project, and best to combine it with learning exercises.

Summarise successes and failures and lessons learned. This helps you complete the circle and plan better projects the next time.


Assesses the long-term sustainability of a project. Usually done well after the project ends so you can thoroughly assess its impact and ripple effects.

Sustainability is crucial! I recommend conducting regular ex-posts 3-5 years after a project ends. My friend Jindra Čekanova does ex-posts even 15 years after a project ends.


Useful to help design a response to a known need, i.e. helping you develop a response. This is especially useful for complex situations, where many actors respond to the scenario and they're being tested.

A developmental evaluation can be pretty creative and will support innovative approaches. Doing this kind of evaluation helps you get real-time feedback on what works and what doesn't, and you can use this in future project designs. I recommend doing these kinds of evaluations throughout your project.