Evaluation management often involves a steering group, which makes the decisions about the evaluation.
It is important to distinguish between a steering group (which makes decisions) and an advisory group (which provides advice).
Research Into Use programme
The Research Into Use (RIU) programme engaged a steering committee to:
- Assist in prioritizing and determining the strategic focus of the evaluation.
- Assist in developing a robust and credible evaluation process.
- Assist in the identification of strategic themes arising from the initial evaluation findings.
- Evaluation approach paper
- Initial findings paper
- Key findings, conclusion and recommendations arising from the draft evaluation paper
Steering committees take time to organize and manage. Make sure that you factor in this time as a cost to project personnel. Ensure that you have the right expertise to match the type of steering committee (advice, recommendation, decision-making).
Advice for CHOOSING this option (tips and traps)
Consider whether the evaluation team will need access to additional expertise and if the Steering Committee is the best way for the team to access this expertise. Be sure to clarify the function of the committee.
Advice for USING this option (tips and traps)
Clarify the terms of reference with each committee member, ensure they understand their responsibilities and the time requirements of the role. Clarify whether the committee will meet in person or whether meetings will be virtual. Make sure you allocate time to the role of managing the committee including sending out preparatory documents and ensuring a skilled facilitator who can participate in meetings.
Consider whether the project will benefit from the Steering Committee and if it is feasible that the team gain access to the proposed personnel. Check that the expertise of each committee member matches with the role proposed. Consider whether you want to attend or participate in the Steering Committee.
- Steering Committee: Research Into Use Example - The aim of this programme was to accumulate and evaluate evidence to shape and share lessons on how best to enable innovation in the agricultural sector so as to achieve social and economic gains in diverse developing country settings.
- Steering Committee: Queensland Government Department of Education and Training Example - The Department of Education and Training in the Queensland State Government in Australia has established an Evaluation Steering Committee to oversee evaluations conducted within the organization.
Date of original: 03/05/2011