“Meta-Evaluation” in the Journal of Evaluation (Zeitschrift für Evaluation)

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Stockmann and Dr. Stefan Silvestrini are the editors of the main topic “Meta-Evaluation” in the newly published issue 1/2023 of the Zeitschrift für Evaluation (ZfEv), which comprises six original contributions and a practical report. In addition to the editorial by the editors, two of the six original articles on the topic of meta-evaluation were written by authors from CEval GmbH:

Meta squared – What we can learn from meta-evaluations 

The synthesis of ten meta-evaluations by Stefan Silvestrini includes ten selected meta-evaluations conducted at the Center for Evaluation for various governmental and non-governmental organizations from four European countries as well as international development organizations. In addition to presenting the quality characteristics of a total of 407 evaluations, the synthesis further addresses the question of which factors affect the quality of evaluations. Among the factors examined are, for example, the budget or the timing of the evaluation in the course of implementation of the evaluated project. The author concludes that there are a number of controllable factors that have a statistically significant impact on the quality of an evaluation and that should be given more attention in future evaluations.

Terms of Reference Matter – Insights from Evaluations of Finnish Development Cooperation

The contribution by Susanne Väth, Maja Flaig and Hansjörg Gaus also belongs to the policy field of development cooperation. Their assumption that the quality of the Terms of Reference (ToRs) on which an external evaluation is based has a significant influence on the quality of the evaluations, because they represent an essential orientation aid for the evaluators, is at first sight obvious. However, there is little empirical support for this in the literature. The authors therefore use regression analyses to examine the impact of ToRs on the quality of evaluation reports, based on a meta-evaluation commissioned by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They conclude that evaluation commissioners can have a considerable positive impact on the quality of the resulting evaluation reports by producing high-quality ToRs.

The entire edition of the “Zeitschrift für Evaluation”, issue 01/2023, with the focus on “Meta-Evaluation” can be found here at Waxmann-Verlag.

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