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Managing the Politics of Evaluation


Enrolments are now open. 

  • Course price: US$575.- 

  • Dates: You can commence the course right after enrolment and study for as long as you need at your own pace.

  • Format:  Self-paced with trainer support when required, which means that you can study for as long as you need at your own pace. We will provide you with a personalised support throughout your studies.

  • Trainer:  Dr. Marlène Laubli Loud

2010 - present

      Course Overview


This course considers some of the challenges that evaluators and evaluation contract managers face when striving to have an impartial evaluation of a programme. The topic is highly sensitive, but relevant to all sectors. However, the course will focus in particular on the humanitarian and development contexts where it has been less openly discussed. Although there are certainly political factors stemming from ideological and policy debates that can affect the “success” of an intervention, this course will particularly focus on how the “political” interests of the various partners involved can influence the evaluation process. It will consider some of the main elements giving rise to a conflict of interest :

  • between the evaluator and programme sponsors and implementers,

  • between the evaluation contract manager and her/his organisation’s internal partners.

The course will then go on to look at what measures can be taken to address these potential threats and protect the professional integrity of the evaluator and the contract manager.

      Course Objectives


Upon completion of the course the students will:


  • Understand why evaluation is essentially a “political” activity;

  • Understand how different combinations of the “tricky triangle” of (evaluator, commissioner and the evaluand) can affect evaluator independence (and dependence);

  • Develop the skills needed to recognise the different types of “political” pressure that can come to the fore before, during and at the end of the evaluation study;

  • Understand the benefits and limits of some of the key strategies that have been used to deal with such challenges.


Dr. Marlène Laubi Loud: 

is a specialist in evaluation within public administration. She has a wealth of experience in the conduct (10+ years), management (17+ years) and academic development of evaluation theory and practice. She obtained her first degree in integrated social sciences specializing in development issues. She was awarded her doctorate from Sussex university in educational evaluation and has since specialised in evaluation in the public health sector. Her specialist interests are in the theory and practice of enhancing evaluation use in public administration and quality evaluation management. 



Upon successful completion of the course, the student will receive a certificate with a unique ID number. The certificate can then be verified by an employer by email enquiry on TRAASS’s website.

2010 - present

      Course Content


Module 1: Introduction and overview of the course - How is evaluation a “political “activity? 

Module 2: Who is involved in commissioning and conducting an evaluation? Why is this a “tricky triangle”?

Module 3: Types of “political” pressure that can affect the evaluator’s independence and types that can influence the “independence” of the internal evaluation contract manager.

Module 4: Strategies for dealing with “political pressures” on the evaluator – and those appropriate for acting as a safeguard to the professional integrity of the internal evaluation contract manager.

Module 5: Summary, conclusions and course evaluation.

      Course Methodology


This online, blended course uses a combination of methods comprised of reading materials, video lectures and exercises to ensure practicality of the knowledge acquired. Case studies are used throughout the course to ensure a hands-on approach and the development of working skills. Some checklists are provided as a “memo” to help the learner apply the lessons drawn from the course once back in her/his work context.


Time required for completion solely depends on the student. However, we recommend allocating at least 4-5 hours for every module.


Experience of managing or conducting one or several evaluation project(s) is desirable but not mandatory.



      Target Audience


  • Evaluators conducting evaluations for NGOs;

  • NGO managers responsible for managing an evaluation contract with an external evaluator(s);

  • Internal evaluators;

  • Evaluation commissioners.



Learners will be able to post questions on the course forum, chat and also to participate in online tutorials. The course coordinator will reply to any queries. There is also an opportunity to have a Skype session with the course coordinator.

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