How to design and manage Equity-focused evaluations

The push for a stronger focus on equity in human development is gathering momentum at the international level. Its premise is increasingly supported by United Nations reports and strategies as well as by independent analysis. More and more national policies and international alliances are focusing on achieving equitable development results. While this is the right way to go, it poses important challenges – and opportunities – to the evaluation function. How can one strengthen the capacity of Governments, organizations and communities to evaluate the effect of interventions on equitable outcomes for marginalized populations? What are the evaluation questions to assess interventions are relevant and are having an impact in decreasing inequity, are achieving equitable results, and are efficient and sustainable? What are the methodological implications in designing, conducting, managing and using Equity-focused evaluations? The new publication “How to design and manage Equity-focused evaluations” represents a first attempt to address these questions.

The document starts by defining equity, why equity matters and why equity is so urgent now. It then explains what an Equity-focused evaluation is, explaining what its purpose should be and potential challenges in its promotion and implementation. The second part of the document explains how to manage Equity-focused evaluations, presenting the key issues to take into account when preparing for the Equity-focused evaluations and developing the Terms of Reference, including presenting potential equity-focused evaluation questions; how to design the evaluation, including identifying the appropriate evaluation framework, evaluation design and appropriate methods to collect data; and how to ensure the evaluation is used. The document also addresses how to conduct Equity-focused evaluations under real-world constraints. Last but not least, eight case studies are included to illustrate how evaluations supported by UNICEF have addressed equity-focused issues.

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