An External Evaluation: A Case Study of a Design and Implementation Process

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Maliha Khan


This case study is a description of the process of designing and implementing an evaluation of the Indigenous People’s Initiative (IPI) of the North American Program (NAP) at Heifer International (HI). The evaluation team comprised of a consultant and two researchers was hired by Heifer International to carry out an external evaluation of the IPI. This following case study highlights the processes used by the evaluation team in designing their conceptual framework, work plan, methodologies and the implementation of the evaluation, which focused on assessing effectiveness, performance, approaches and organizational capacities of HI to work with indigenous people. The results of the evaluation were intended to be used for organizational learning, and recommendations were provided by the evaluation team for effective changes for the improvement of the program.

The evaluation took place over four months included designing, implementing, finalizing and sharing the final report with HI. The evaluation team used a mixed method approach of evaluation to gather and analyze the information for organizational learning. In this case study, I will reflect on the overall processes of the activities of the evaluation team, including their planning, designing, gathering of data and producing the final recommendations and analyses for HI.

This research will be contributing to answering the following questions:

• What approaches have been used in the evaluation of IPI?

• What methods and tools were used?

• What were the key issues of the evaluation research?

• To what extent did the organizational capacities/expertise of HI facilitate community development processes?

• What did I learn as an evaluator and a development practitioner?

To conduct this evaluation, We used documents provided by HI, developed survey questionnaires and conducted open ended interviews to gather information from HI staff members, managers, directors and external stakeholders in order to get a reasonable amount of information to analyze. I will be reflecting on my own learning I gained through my observations and participation in conducting this evaluation.

II. Usefulness of the Case Study

This study will contribute to a better understanding among HI staff, managers and leadership about the effectiveness of the HI program and will provide recommendations about how to make improvements in order to have a greater impact. Heifer made several efforts to develop the staff capacity to alien with the uniqueness of the program and that was the center of focus to evaluate its capacity and leadership role to facilitate the social justice program within Indian nation in USA and Canada. Since HI adopted a new approach to their work with indigenous people, they have gone though several changes in their strategies, planning and activities, and it has always been a challenge to determine the effectiveness at all levels. This research will provide more clarity and a critical analysis of the overall approaches and challenges in the implementation of the IPI.

Organizational learning from this research can also make contributions in the form of knowledge and recommendations to other organizations working in the same field and seeking to implement the same approaches.


Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods | Organizational Behavior and Theory

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