Henrik BrinkmannChristiane KerlenKatharina Bilaine

An Internal Evaluation with External Consultancy – An Experience Report from the Non-Profit Sector

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART102767

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Abstract

There is talk of a growing internalisation of evaluation activities, meaning that evaluation capacity building and internal evaluations increasingly replace external evaluations. The authors are taking a closer look at this development and are asking for a rationale, taking a first hand experience report from a large German non-profit organisation as a starting point. The case in question presents itself as a combination of self evaluation and inhouse evaluation combined with external consultancy by an evaluation expert. This mixture is interpreted as an answer to a very specific situation, a solution made possible only against the backdrop of readily available internal evaluation knowledge within the organisation. For the organisation under scrutiny the experience has been a positive one: In contrast to previous external evaluations it was possible to extract findings in a more efficient manner and results have been widely perceived as being useful for the organisation at large, without impairing trust within the organisation. This is an important conclusion which might be relevant beyond the actual case under scrutiny: Internalisation could be an attempt to increase the usefulness of an evaluation while at the same time controlling for the risk of adverse effects such as a negative impact on internal trust, an intangible asset of particular importance to NPOs.

Keywords
Internal Evaluation, External Evaluation Consultancy, Evaluation Capacity Building, Non-Profit Organisation