Preparation of Manual for empanelment of evaluation agencies

Theme: Consultation, Strategy development
Duration: July 2012 to March 2013
Project partners: Karnataka Evaluation Authority, Dept. of Planning, Program Monitoring and Statistics, Govt. of Karnataka

The Government of Karnataka was one of the first State Governments to evolve a policy on evaluation. The policy envisages that the outcomes of the evaluation should be used for improving program design and implementation. It specifies that schemes with an outlay exceeding Rs.1 crore need to be evaluated atleast once by an external agency during its plan period.

However, there exist several challenges in the current bidding and selection process of agencies which either result in underbidding by agencies eventually leading to substandard outputs, or exclusion of appropriate agencies that can deliver quality reports as per expectations. It is also noticed that different evaluation agencies had a different understanding of the same terms of reference.

GRAAM worked with KEA to develop a manual for selection and empanelment of evaluation consultants to put in place guidelines, indicators and parameters so that the best suited agencies get empanelled and deliver high quality evaluation reports.

A desk research on the best practices in the global and Indian context was carried out and their applicability was studied while developing the manual for Karnataka. The empanelment manual took into consideration different issues and provided detailed norms for appraisal of the organisation – both technical and financial.

Key components: The basic organisation appraisal includes the statutory documentation, human resources and infrastructure. The technical appraisal includes among others various research studies conducted, publications, sectoral experience, collaborations, and certifications held by the organisation. The financial parameters includes appraisal of basic financial documents, funding partners/clients and their quantum of funding. A precise scoring system of agencies was evolved in the process and this is the key component of the document.

The final draft has been accepted and a government order is awaited for the manual to be used by the Department.