The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has established common definitions for six evaluation criteria – relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability – to support consistent, high-quality evaluation. These criteria provide a normative framework used to determine the merit or worth of an intervention (policy, strategy, programme, project or activity). They serve as the basis upon which evaluative judgements are made.
The OECD/DAC first published definitions of five evaluation criteria in 1991, which were adapted and revised upon an extensive global consultation in December 2019.
This new guidance supports evaluators, evaluation managers and commissioners of evaluation to use the revised criteria in ways that will contribute to credible, insightful and useful evaluations. It will help readers adapt the criteria based on stakeholder need, context, and type of intervention being evaluated.