What is an Assessment?

An assessment is the process of collecting, analyzing, and utilizing data for the purpose of informing or improving a project. It is an on-going and interactive process and provides critical feedback to identify areas of potential improvement or intervention.

What is an Evaluation?

An evaluation is the objective and systematic review of an on-going or completed project’s design, implementation, and results. It helps determine efficiency, impact, and sustainability of a project and enables the integration of lessons learned into the decision-making process.

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Core Elements of Evaluations and Assessments

Core elements of evaluations and assessments can include:

  • Establishment of a baseline or midline for progress comparison
  • Key lines of inquiry, normally based on project objectives
  • Elements of data collection:
    • Surveys: Surveys are a critical tool for quantitative data collection. They can provide a clear, numerical representation of a core or proxy indicator.
    • Key-Informant Interviews (KIIS): KIIs are a critical form of qualitative data collection that provides for in-depth, open-ended discussions with specific individuals or sub-groups of interest. It helps projects gain deeper understanding of stakeholder experiences, from which lessons-learned can be drawn and applied.
    • Focus Group Discussions (FGDs): FGDs gather small, purposefully selected groups who participate in a guided discussion. They serve as a qualitative data collection tool that can be complementary to KIIs and surveys.
  • Validation: It is critical to involve relevant stakeholders to assist with validating results. This can be achieved through the organization of validation workshops that discuss 1) any questions emerging from the data collection, 2) key data points driving judgements around relevance, effectiveness and durability and, 3) conclusions drawn from the data including applicable lessons or recommendations.

ORB Evaluations and Assessments

At ORB, we utilize our extensive data collection skills and services to conduct evaluations and assessments on a variety of projects, such as supporting the Tony Elumelu Foundation with understanding the impact of its Entrepreneurship Program. We primarily utilize both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods to carry out our assessments and evaluations, which allows for richer context and triangulation of findings.

A key component of our approach is to also incorporate local feedback mechanisms to provide input on evaluation/assessment design and implementation. This ensures research tools and protocols are sensitive to the political and cultural contexts of targeted groups. Additionally, ORB offers opportunities for evaluation stakeholders to offer input toward evaluation design to ensure the evaluation meets the objectives of all interested parties.

Why are evaluations and assessments important?

Evaluations and assessments play a key role in the implementation of complex projects.  They create learning mechanisms by generating and sharing knowledge about how best to achieve project goals, and use that knowledge to inform and adapt on-going projects. They are tools provide accountability by ensuring projects are effective and efficient, and transparency exists at all levels of implementation.

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Get in touch

Contact us today to discuss your evaluations and assessments requirements and find out how we can help.

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