3.5 Developing Guidelines and Standards

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This section suggests a process for developing Evaluation guidelines and standards, and links to a variety of examples created by other VOPEs.

Some VOPEs invest resources into the development of guidelines and standards which can help influence those involved in evaluation to deliver good quality work. A guideline or standard may be useful in helping to improve the understanding of what a quality evaluation looks like, or may help to clarify the process for a good evaluation. In some instances, a standard may also provide the basis for improving the professional status of evaluators in your VOPE. A range of examples of standards and guidelines are included in the resources section.

The process for developing appropriate guidelines and standards may include:

  1. Identify the purpose for the development of your guideline/standard.
  2. Define whom the standards/guidelines will aim to influence? (Evaluators, Commissioners of evaluation, Evaluation governments, members of your organization).
  3. Appoint a committee and Board member responsible for developing the guideline/standard. Engage with members and potential interested parties.
  4. Assess if the standards will be used as basis for legal and/or professional purposes, or only as advisory material.
  5.  If for legal or professional purposes, ensure that all legal requirements are met and that standard professional requirements are clearly defined.
  6. Investigate existing international, national and local guidelines/standards that are applicable in your context. The local context may involve specific guidelines and standards to respond to the cultural context.
  7. Determine whether membership must agree to uphold standards or a code based on the standards, as a condition of membership.
  8. Set out the procedure for handling verification of standards or complaints.
  9. Develop a draft guideline/standard/code, clearly stating its purpose and practice and incorporate a procedure for regular review.
  10. Seek feedback from the full Board and other interested parties; revise draft based on feedback.
  11. Submit the standard/guideline to a vote at an AGM.
  12. On membership approval, finalize guideline/standard, publish and disseminate.
  13. Implement necessary systems and processes to support the guideline/standard.
Standards, Guidelines, Ethics, Good Practise

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