Design, Monitoring and Evaluation for Peacebuilding

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What are Ethical and Conflict Sensitivity Issues in Evaluation, and How do I Manage them?

Evaluation item: 
Ethics in Evaluation
  • United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG). "UNEG Ethical Guidelines for Evaluation." Foundation Document, UNEG, 2008.
    • Available here.
    • Beginner
    • Applicable to the conduct of evaluation in all UN Agencies, the UNEG Guidelines for Evaluation highlight the importance of ethical conduct in evaluation – which is described as a shared responsibility of all relevant stakeholders. Besides discussing the Ethical Principles in Evaluation, special attention is given to the duties of evaluation managers and evaluation commissioners.
  • American Evaluation Association. "American Evaluation Association Guiding Principles for Evaluators." 2004.
    • Available here.
    • Beginner
    • Developed in 1994, the Guiding Principles for Evaluators serve as the cornerstone of good evaluation practice.  The Guiding Principles are broadly intended to cover all kinds of evaluation, and are aimed at guiding the ethical conduct of evaluation.  Additional guidance material on the Guiding Principles for Evaluators can be found here.
  • Duggan, Colleen, and Kenneth Bush. "The Ethical Tipping Points of Evaluators in Conflict Zones." American Journal of Evaluation 35 (2014): 1-22, doi: 10.1177/1098214014535658.
    • Available here.
    • Intermediate
    • This article highlights the specifics of conducting ethical evaluations in settings of conflict and how evaluators can manage the particular challenges that arise in these settings.  This article is relevant for both peacebuilding practitioners without evaluation experience and evaluators without prior experience in conflict zones.
  • Chigas, Diana, Madeline Church, and Vanessa Corlazzoli. "Evaluating Impacts of Peacebuilding Interventions: Approaches and Methods, Challenges and Considerations." CCVRI Guidance Series. London: DFID, 2014.
    • Available here.
    • Intermediate
    • This guidance includes a discussion of ethical and conflict sensitivity considerations for evaluations of peacebuilding impacts, including ethical and conflict sensitivity issues raised in different approaches to evaluation.
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All parties interested in evaluation of peacebuilding can benefit from the materials in this section, especially commissioners of evaluations and evaluators.  The former may find it valuable as they may want to request that evaluators work within the framework of one of these guidelines, while evaluators themselves may find it useful, for they will probably have to conduct evaluations under some ethical guidelines and, as suggested on BetterEvaluation “evaluators responding to Requests for Proposal can include the guidelines as part of their proposal for conducting an evaluation.”