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Programme evaluation

Step introducing the principles of programme evaluation in the planning cycle.
SPEAKER 1: Welcome. By the end of this presentation, you will be able to define evaluation, and describe the role, process, and timing of an evaluation.
Step 6 is the evaluation phase of a project plan and is the end stage of the planning cycle. Step 6 activities must also be planned at the beginning of the project.
Evaluation is defined as, a scientifically rigorous critical assessment of the degree to which health services fulfil stated objectives. In other words, evaluation is a scientific approach that measures the change between, before, and after a programme or project is carried out. It also takes into account any unexpected consequences of the programme. An evaluation helps us to discover both the intended and the unintended consequences of a plan. This helps planners to fully understand all of a programme’s outputs and outcomes, not just those included in the plan.
Ideally, evaluations are planned at the very start of a programme, and resources for it are allocated and ring fenced.
When should planners and managers evaluate? Ongoing– during the programme at the end of the pre-agreed time period, often midway through a programme. Terminal– this is 6 to 12 months after a programme has been completed. And ex-post evaluation– this is several years after the end of a programme when full impact should have been realised.
Who does an evaluation? Evaluation is an activity that must be unbiased. So it is best to recruit an external consultant or a team to carry it out. Stakeholders– that includes the community, eye care professionals, and funders– may also be involved as support and source of direction or information for the evaluation.
How is an evaluation carried out? Terms of reference, or the scope, are agreed between the district and national coordinators and the external evaluators. Data from all monitoring activities is made available to the evaluators who carry out what is known as a desk evaluation. The evaluator a will also collect data from community and outreach, if needed. A report is then compiled and shared with all the stakeholders, and the next action plan takes the report’s recommendations on board. In conclusion, an evaluation is needed to find out if a programme has been a success. It is also important for identifying scale up opportunities and necessary changes.
It must be done externally, so that it is unbiased, and it must be shared with all partners. Evaluation timings have to be planned for at the onset of the programme.

Evaluation is defined as a scientifically rigorous, critical assessment of the degree to which health services fulfil stated objectives. Step 6 is the evaluation phase of a project plan, and represents the end stage of the planning cycle. This step introduces the principles of programme evaluation in the cycle.

Why should you plan for evaluation activities at the beginning of the planning cycle? Is an evaluation only a measure of the project impact or can/must it be used to understand the journey that took place as well?

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Global Blindness: Planning and Managing Eye Care Services

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