Self-evaluation or external evaluation video series – 3.Do funders prefer an external evaluation? (3 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 3 asks: Do funders prefer an external evaluation?

Self-evaluation or external evaluation (3 of 4) 

Do funders prefer an external evaluation? 

Some organisations assume that funders prefer external evaluation. 

In our experience, funders want quality evaluation and learning. Many funders are keen to support the organisations they fund to self-evaluate and to share what they learn. This means having self-evaluation systems in place. Like you, funders want to know what worked (and what didn’t!), for whom and in what circumstances. 

It’s not necessarily WHO does the evaluation that makes it robust but rather having a good range of evidence that explains the impact of your project, and what worked. So make sure your self-evaluation can generate good learning and then if there are gaps in your understanding think about whether and how an external evaluation could fill them. 

You should only consider an external evaluation if you think it can add value to your current self-evaluation approach. 

If your funder has suggested you commission an external evaluation, it’s worth asking them why and exploring all the options together. 

Watch the other videos in this series

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