How-To Note: Preparing Evaluation Reports

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INTRODUCTION

This Note supplements USAID Automated Directives System (ADS) Chapter 203 and provides current good practice in preparing evaluation reports, the main deliverable for most evaluations. Following these practices will help to establish clear expectations for evaluation reports during the preparation of evaluation statements of work and the in-briefing of the evaluation team. These practices also serve as a guide for reviewing the quality of draft evaluation reports submitted by the evaluation team. This Note is also a resource for USAID partners and independent evaluators of USAID programs and projects. An evaluation report template and sample evaluation report covers are available as additional resources.

BACKGROUND

The most important outcome of an evaluation is that it is used to inform decisions and improve USAID projects and programs. A key factor in using evaluation findings is having a well-written, succinct report that clearly and quickly communicates credible findings and conclusions, including easy-to-understand graphics and consistent formatting.

REQUIREMENTS

USAID’s Evaluation Policy and ADS 203 provide guidance on evaluation report structure and content, and steps in the process of creating a report. These are listed in Table 1. The report must present a well-researched, thoughtful and organized effort to objectively evaluate a USAID activity, project or program. Findings, conclusions and recommendations must be based in evidence derived from the best methods available given the evaluation questions and resources available. The evaluation methods, limitations, and information sources must be documented, including by providing data collection tools and the original evaluation statement of work as annexes to the main report. Finally, the findings should be shared transparently and widely, to ensure accountability and to promote learning from USAID’s experience.

Last updated: July 08, 2013