What is organization or program evaluation and why is it important?
DIP offers evaluation services for various stakeholders:
- business sector, for organizations or programs,
- public bodies, organizations or institutions and their programs,
- civil society organizations and their programs.
Since the foundation, we have been conducting external and internal evaluation of our organization and our programs, so this is our greatest experience. Due to this vast experience and professional references, our team is qualified to carry out evaluations for others as well.
Evaluation is a systematic and objective process that assesses and evaluates the value or significance of an activity, policy or program, planned intervention, ongoing intervention or completed intervention.
Evaluation measures the effect, assesses the success and effectiveness of a particular policy, program or project – based on the evaluation of what has been done, negative results should be pointed out, successful ones should be highlighted and recommendations should be made for future planning and implementation. Evaluation is learning from mistakes and good practices alike. In order to be able to evaluate the implementation, it is necessary to have an implementation plan or a strategic document that has established goals, measures to achieve the goals and activities to reach the goals. In the Republic of Croatia, the methodological tool for the evaluation of investments in the public policy programs is not sufficiently developed, and only with “Europeanization” are there small developments. The biggest developments are seen in the activities of the projects financed from EU funds, for example the Agency for Mobility and EU Programs trains users of funds for project evaluation: http://arhiva.mobilnost.hr/prilozi/05_1418290955_eTwinning_webinar.pdf
Evaluation (evaluation of projects and/or programs) is a periodic evaluation of the effectiveness (efficiency), efficiency (effectiveness), effect, sustainability and relevance of the program/project in the context of the established goals. It refers to the general goal of the project and its purpose, that is, it deals with the so-called long-term effect (impact) and differs from monitoring implementation (monitoring) in the time interval in which it is carried out. https://razvoj.gov.hr/o-ministarstvu/djelokrug-1939/eu-fondovi/pracenje-provedbe-monitoring-i-vrednovanje-evaluacija/evaluacija/314
Evaluation is not just about asking users: “How was it for you?”; evaluation is much more than that. It includes both implementation and process indicators that you must plan before implementing the program.
The evaluation can be done:
- in the strategic planning phase, ex ante evaluation
- after the implemented strategy or program, ex post evaluation.
The evaluation can be carried out:
- during and after the implemented program – the recommendation is to always evaluate your own program, if you do not have the funds to pay for an external evaluation yet,
- before the start of the implementation – most often for the purpose of evaluating the commission for the purpose of making a decision on financing.
The evaluation also refers to the assessment of the quality of the project that will be implemented for the purpose of evaluation for financing. Most organizations encounter this evaluation when applying for funds from the budget, so the Regulation on criteria, standards and procedures for financing and contracting programs and projects of interest for the common good implemented by associations, https://narodne-novine.nn.hr/ articles/sluzbeni/2015_03_26_546.html …and Manual for the implementation of the regulation, https://udruge.gov.hr/UserDocsImages/dokumenti/PRIRUČNIK%20za%20primjenu%20Uredbe_v.%202.0.pdf, among other things, determines that the criteria for assessment must be transparent. Although the progress in the level of transparency can be seen, the members of the evaluation committee often make questionable decisions, and public bodies often do not explain the evaluations of the committee members. Why? It often happens that they do not have key documents based on which the priority areas of funding were adopted, or they do not have the action plans, or clearly defined categories for evaluation, so the evaluation is left to chance. Thus, mistrust is created in the evaluations and funding decisions made, for example, a member of the commission evaluates the element “cooperation with the community” with a very low rating, and the organization lists an extremely high number with evidence of cooperation in the application. That’s why we invested extra effort in sensitizing the public to the importance of evaluation, both before and after.
Most of the organizations that apply for projects for financing from the EU funds meet the basic criteria of the European Commission for the evaluation of projects, programs and/or development policies:
- relevance – adequacy of the project goals for solving the identified problems and for the context in which the project is implemented; the internal logic and coherence of the project is evaluated
- efficiency – whether the project results were achieved at reasonable costs and how well the project inputs were used in the implementation of the activities; as a whole, it is assessed whether the best approach has been chosen to achieve the desired goals in a certain time and at a certain cost
- effectiveness – to what extent did the project results contribute to the achievement of the project goals and how much influence did the assumptions in the project have? the effect of the project on the target groups and beneficiaries of the project is assessed
- impact – what is the impact of the project on the wider environment and how does it affect development policies in the sector where the project is implemented
- sustainability – how likely it is that the results of the project will have a positive impact even after the end of the external financing of the project activities, how much of the ownership and benefits will the stakeholders – the project team, decision makers and beneficiaries have, once the project has ended.
Without monitoring, without evaluation of results and effectiveness, we don’t know if we made a good decision and what risks arose during implementation, we don’t know if we planned well or not and what we learned from that experience.
Berčić, M., Šešo, B., 2019. Evaluation of the marketing efficiency of investments of the Poreč Tourist Board.
Berčić, M. 2018. Evaluation of the work of the info center for young people, Rijeka: Regional info center for young people: https://umki.hr/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/umki-publikacije-evaluacijaprojektariczmiumki2015..pdf