A Terms of Reference (ToR) is a document that steers the evaluation process, but it can also be used for guiding feasibility studies, needs assessments, audits, field missions and so much more. Developing a ToR may not seem like the most exciting thing to do, but it is a crucial step in commissioning an evaluation.
And, here's the good news: the more detailed a ToR, the more likely it is that the quality of the evaluation matches your (and those of your bosses and the other stakeholders!) needs. So if you manage to think through the evaluation process, methodology and timeline upfront, you can clearly communicate the expectations and deliverables to potential consultants/ evaluators. The cause of many issues during implementation of the evaluation can be found in the Terms of Reference.
Our MDF Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) course will teach you how to develop a clear and sound Terms of Reference for project and programme evaluations. Together with fellow participants, you will analyse existing ToRs, assess their strong and weak points and develop a clear understanding of the building blocks that make up a good ToR. Possessing these skills will make your life much easier ... although, one day to prepare may still not be enough..