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  EUROPA > European Commission > EuropeAid > Evaluation > Methodology > Basics > How?
Last updated: 14/01/2006

Methodological bases
Evaluation process (How?)
Quality assurance


Approval of deliveries


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What is this?

Formal recognition by the evaluation manager that a delivered document has an adequate content and meets the applicable quality criteria in methodological terms.

What are the approval steps?

Generally, a document is approved in the following way:

  • The manager checks that the document has the required form and content, and has no major quality defect. If it does, he/she immediately requests a new version.
  • The manager asks for the opinion of the individuals or services that have to be consulted, either at a meeting (reference group) or by email. He/she gives a deadline after which there is no guarantee that comments will be taken on board.
  • The manager lists his/her own requirements regarding quality improvements, attaches other requests received, distinguishes requests applying to the methodological quality from requests applying to the substance of the text, and sends all the comments to the external evaluation team.
  • The evaluation team takes into account all the requests for quality improvements, either by amending its document accordingly or by mentioning in an annex how the request will be treated at a later stage, or else by explaining in an annex why the request has not been treated.
  • A new version of the document is soon presented to the manager who accepts or refuses it.
  • When approval is required, it is also a prerequisite for moving on to the next stage.


Which documents are approved and by whom?

The following documents require approval:

  • Inception report
  • First phase report (desk)
  • Pilot mission report (when the evaluation includes missions in several countries)
  • Draft final report
  • Final report

Approval is generally performed by the evaluation manager and may be confirmed by his/her superior.

The reference group members validate the set of evaluation questions, i.e. group members formally accept, or at least do not reject, the set of evaluation questions. If necessary, divergences are resolved by the evaluation manager. In that case dissenting views are noted in subsequent reports.


Rules of approval and independence

The approval process does not contradict the external evaluation team's independence. In this respect the requests for amendments made during the approval exercise need to be differentiated:

  • Comments concerning methodological quality have to be taken into account. If the evaluation team considers that it cannot take a demand into consideration, this should be fully justified. An assessment of the methodological quality is attached to the final report.
  • Comments concerning the substance of the document, statements and conclusions are freely taken into account or rejected by the evaluation team. The team must nevertheless, in a note or in the annex, mention the requests not taken into account and comment upon its decisions in this respect.