Self-evaluation or external evaluation video series – 1.Should I self-evaluate or commission an external evaluation? (1 of 4)


ESS Evaluation Manager Nicola Swan answers your questions about self-evaluation and external evaluation in a 4-part series of bite-size videos.

Part 1 asks: Should I self-evaluate or commission an external evaluation?

Self-evaluation or external evaluation (1 of 4) 

Should I self-evaluate or commission an external evaluation? 

Third sector organisations often ask us whether they should commission an external evaluation OR do their evaluation themselves. We think that’s a false dichotomy, because organisations will always need to do some evaluation themselves, as a matter of course. 

Self-evaluation describes the ongoing cycle of setting outcomes, collecting information, analysing and reflecting on this, and reporting and learning. 

Many find that self-evaluation is appropriate for their project or organisation most of the time. 

If you do decide to commission an external evaluation it is unrealistic to expect that it will cover all of these stages for you. Evaluators can only ever get a snapshot in the time available. Afterall an external evaluator isn’t a magician! 

So a good starting point is to ask yourself WHY do you need an external evaluation and WHAT can it add to your self-evaluation. 

Check our support guide for more information. 

Watch the other videos in this series: