The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using an External and Internal Evaluator in an Evaluation

Topics: Literacy, Evaluation, Functional illiteracy Pages: 6 (2198 words) Published: December 12, 2013
This essay is an attempt to describe the advantages and disadvantages of using an external and internal evaluator in an evaluation. The author will propose an internal evaluator for a functional literacy program. The structure of the essay will start by defining programme evaluation and the background of evaluation, and then give advantages and disadvantages of using external or internal evaluator in an evaluation. This essay will then propose one evaluator for a functional literacy program and give reasons for choosing such an evaluator. The essay will conclude by giving the author’s personal opinion on the matter above. Evaluation is the process of collecting and/or using information for the purposes of determining the value and worth of the subject of the evaluation process (Birley & Morel 1998). Australian Development Cooperation (2009) has expanded the definition by stating that programme evaluation is the systematic and objective assessment of an on-going or completed project, programme or policy its design, implementation and results. Other authors like Mbozi, (2007) defined evaluation as a systematic assessment of the worth or merit of some project. The aim is to determine the relevance and fulfilment of objectives, development efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. In general, the purpose of your evaluation should be to establish the outcomes or value of the program you are providing and to find ways to improve the program (House, 1993). The process of evaluation is considered to be a relatively recent phenomenon. However, planned evaluation has been documented as dating as far back as 2200BC, Shadish, Cook & Letish, (1991). Evaluation became particularly relevant in the U.S. in the 1960s during the period of the Great Society social programs associated with the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. It is argued in Letish, (1991) that for programme evaluation to take place there must be an evaluator. A programme evaluator is said in Letish (1991) as a person who systematically assesses the process and outcomes of a program with the intent of furthering its development and improvement on a programme. It’s clearly stated in international standards of evaluators number U2 about the Evaluator’s Credibility that the person conducting an evaluation should be both trustworthy and competent to perform the evaluation, so that the evaluation findings achieve maximum credibility and acceptance. In this case there are two types of evaluators, internal and external. An internal evaluator is a program staff or worker who conducts program evaluation on behalf of the program. The whole evaluation is an intervention conducted by a unit/and or individuals reporting to the management of the donor, partner, or implementing organization. An external evaluator is a person or persons who conduct an evaluation of a program from outside the program and they are not part of the program being evaluated. Other writers like Kushner, (2000) have added that external evaluation is an intervention conducted by entities and/or individuals outside the donor and implementing agencies. The advantages of internal evaluators according to Newman, & Brown, (1996) are immense which includes having better overall knowledge of the program and also possess more informal knowledge of the program because they operate within. Farther more internal evaluators have less threatening from management of fellow staff because they are already familiar with every staff. Allowances for evaluators are proved less costly compared to external evaluators. The disadvantages for hiring an internal evaluator include being less objective in conducting an evaluation and may be more preoccupied with other activities of the program. It’s also known fact that internal evaluators do not give complete attention to evaluation because their income will not be affected. Other writers like Dolley, (1994) have included that internal evaluators do not have adequately...

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