Project and programme evaluation

With increasing competition for obtaining public (Slovenian and EU) funds, contractors place a greater emphasis on proven results – what have we achieved and what will we achieve with this project or programme, what changes have we brought about. Through evaluations we can obtain the most comprehensive assessment of results achieved.

What is project / programme evaluation?

Evaluations are comprehensive, structured and objective assessments of projects and programmes. Together with planning and monitoring they represent one of the key ingredients to results-oriented management, which brings greater success towards achieving the desired results and changes. Unlike other forms of project/programme assessment – monitoring, annual implementation reports and audit – evaluations focus on changes in society that can be attributed to the project rather than the number of direct project beneficiaries (such as number of participants in a foreign language course).

An evaluation does not serve merely as an overview of the results and changes achieved; it also enables us to gain new insights and lessons learned, based on which we can improve in the future. Evaluations are a mechanism for transparency among project and programme stakeholders; thanks to the evaluation process, they can also develop their capability to critically reflect on the project and necessary improvements.

What does an evaluation look like – the role of Deloitte

Evaluators first look at project documentation and other primary sources (strategic documents, legislative framework, etc.). After a review of quantitative data (project value, number of final beneficiaries per target group and so on), we hold several interviews, often also focus groups and evaluation field visits, in order to obtain an interpretation and contextualisation of observed results. For quantitative data we also utilise more advanced statistical methods, through which we obtain an objective assessment of the change that can be directly attributed to a certain action. This is followed by a preparation of findings and constructive recommendations.

Further to addressing a project's effectiveness, evaluators also report on its (cost) efficiency, the expected sustainability of results, alignment with the needs of the target groups and compliance with strategic documents.

Types of evaluation

We can evaluate both projects – action with a defined start and end point and specific objectives – and programmes. Programmes are generally defined as a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing the projects individually.

There are three types of evaluations: ex-ante, interim and ex-post. The primary purpose of the latter is to define project results and impacts and gain lesson learned for more successful implementation in the future. Interim evaluations, on the other hand, take place before project/programme end and are beneficial primarily for timely corrective action on the activities and processes in need of it.

For whom are evaluations suitable?

All project contractors and programme responsible authorities who want to find out how successfully and efficiently projects were implemented and/or want to improve project effectiveness will benefit from evaluations.