DEFINITION 1: A time-bound exercise that attempts to assess systematically and objectively the relevance, performance and success of ongoing VET policies, completed programmes and projects. Evaluation can also address outcomes or other issues. Evaluation is undertaken selectively to answer specific questions to guide decision-makers and/or VET programme managers, and to provide information on whether underlying theories and assumptions used in programme development were valid, what worked and what did not work and why. Evaluation commonly aims to determine relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. Evaluation should provide information that is credible and useful, enabling the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision-making process.
SOURCE: Adapted from Handbook on monitoring and evaluating for results. Evaluation Office, UNDP, New York, USA, 2002.
DEFINITION 2: The systematic and objective assessment of an on-going or completed VET project, program or policy, its design, implementation and results. The aim is to determine the relevance and fulfilment of objectives, development efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. An evaluation should provide information that is credible and useful, enabling the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision-making process of both policy makers and VET providers. Evaluation also refers to the process of determining the worth or significance of an activity, policy or program. An assessment, as systematic and objective as possible, of a planned, on-going, or completed development intervention.
SOURCE: Adapted from Ten steps to a results-based monitoring and evaluation system, Kusek, J.Z. and Rist, R. C., The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank, Washington, 2004.
RELATED TERMS: internal evaluation, external evaluation, impact evaluation, process evaluation, self-assessment, self-evaluation