Programme evaluation for development action

Programmes form the key operational components of any social sector organisation and programme evaluation is critical for designing and operating effective programmes. By enabling organisation to track programmes on the ground, evaluation produces feedback that can improve accountability as well as decision-making regarding future programmes in the larger policy cycle.

The course begins by situating evaluation within the larger framework of programme
design, planning and implementation, and critically looks at the theory of change
underlying it. It tries to connect the programme theory, governed largely by the
organisational strategy, to the theory of action and helps build a monitoring and
evaluation plan within the larger framework of the theory of change.

The course begins by laying down the foundations of programme evaluation. It
highlights the nuances of external versus internal evaluation, where the latter has a
strong connect with the organisational strategy, whereas the former is largely
grounded in the theory of change on the programme. This distinction between internal
and external evaluation also defines the scope of the evaluation.

The course then explores the techniques of impact evaluation – estimating outcome
traceable to the action and introduces the students to different methods of evaluation
by covering relevant experimental & quasi-experimental causal design methodologies
and their critiques, as well as (qualitative & quantitative) methods of data collection &
analysis. The students will also get an exposure to participatory evaluation methods
and social audits. The course does not focus on any particular sector or policy domain
since evaluation tools are used across domains and in both public and private
organisations and stakeholders. However, detailed case studies of evaluations from different domains and stakeholders are covered, with a focus on India-related
concerns and studies.