Framework of Evaluation Capabilities

The Framework of Evaluation Capabilities is part of the Society’s work to enhance the quality of evaluation practice and promote a culture of professionalisation in evaluation

The UK Evaluation Society Framework of Evaluation Capabilities recognises that whatever evaluation principles and guidelines we endorse, it is people who enact them in the field. Their abilities are paramount; it is their attributes, knowledge and skills that will deliver quality evaluation.

The Framework of Capabilities can be used by individuals, by commissioners, by organisations, in training and professional development and as a form of quality assurance. It provides an opportunity to reflect upon and strengthen whatever capabilities they consider necessary to enhance their practice.

The Framework is structured in three domains: evaluation knowledge, professional practice, qualities and dispositions, in each of which are a number of specific capabilities.

Several features of the Framework warrant some explanation.

  • The word capability is used rather than competency for three reasons: it avoids a mind-set that suggests a tick box approach; it gives agency to the evaluator to reflect on their capability in the different domains; and it provides scope for different organisations to demonstrate their capability in evaluation in different ways.
  • The statements are framed in a way that encourages the individual to demonstrate how they have gained this or that capability and/or what they might need to strengthen.
  • The choice of domains and statements acknowledge evaluation as a social and political practice that that has an ethical base.
  • ‘Evaluation Knowledge’ emphasizes specific evaluation theories and approaches and, where familiar social science methods are used, of their adaptation in an evaluation context.
  • ‘Professional Practice’ highlights the capabilities required to conduct, analyze and report quality evaluations relevant for purpose.
  • ‘Qualities and Dispositions’ refers to those personal characteristics that enable evaluators to operate in difficult socio/political circumstances to deliver credible evaluation.

The Framework of Evaluation Capabilities is used in the Voluntary Evaluator Peer Review (VEPR) initiative as a self-assessment before the review itself and it is also available as an online standalone self-assessment tool for members’ professional development and subsequent training.

The Framework of Evaluation Capabilities was originally published in 2012 after three years of consultation with members and against the backdrop of the international rise and production of competency frameworks by other international evaluation societies and organisations.