Learning and evaluation

Learning and evaluation

VSO is committed to embedding a culture of learning and evaluation throughout the organisation and its programmes. 

Learn more about this process and access independent evaluation reports below.

Learning and strengthening through evaluation

We aim to enhance understanding of our work through evaluation exercises and use learning from this work to strengthen our existing programmes and provide focus and direction to new projects.

We do this by:

  • Building learning and evaluative questions and processes within programmes design and architecture and ensuring they drive programmes and organisational monitoring practices and data collection.
  • Increasing the number of collaborative internal evaluative and learning exercises conducted across programmes.
  • Using generated findings to facilitate learning, understand the impact and sustainability of our work and drive programme improvement.
  • Sharing best practice of rigorous evaluations methodologies, approaches and findings amongst all staff across VSO.
  • Increasing the strategic choice of global or meta-evaluations across thematic and geographic areas.
  • Increasing VSO’s capacity and confidence to decide on the need and relevance of external evaluation and to commission and manage strong evaluations using external experts when this is deemed necessary

Our vision for evaluation for 2015-17 is laid out in our evaluation strategy [PDF].


VSO is required by donors to undertake evaluations but we have also been proactive in undertaking internally initiated and driven evaluations to enhance our understanding of aspects of our work.

Examples of some of these completed evaluations can be accessed below:

Making Markets Work for the Poor - Project Evaluation [PDF]

Effectiveness in Education Programmes in Ethiopia and Tanzania [PDF]

Evaluation of support to continuous professional development of health workers in Tanzania  [PDF]

Value for money study of CASH project in Tanzania [PDF] and VSO management response [PDF]. Access social cost benefit analysis [PDF].

Volunteering for Development in South Sudan: 'Values for Money' [PDF]

Evaluation of approaches to national volunteering in Nigeria [PDF]

Early childhood development in Myanmar migrant communities in Thailand [PDF]

Post-closure evaluations

Sri Lanka Post-closure evaluation report [PDF]

Cameroon post-closure evaluation report [PDF]

Evidence-based case studies

Youth volunteering contribution to sexual reproductive health development results in Baglung, Nepal [PDF]

Youth community volunteering in Bangladesh [PDF]

Active citizenship in youth programmes in Nigeria [PDF]

VSO Youth programmes evidence-based case studies: Summary [PDF]

Independent progress review

VSO has also commissioned two independent progress reviews. IPR1 was carried out in 2012 and IPR2 was completed 2014/15. 

The reports can be accessed below:

Independent Progress Review 1 (IPR1): Full Report and Management Response [PDF]

Independent Progress Review 2 (IPR2): Executive Summary [PDF], Full Report [PDF] and Management Response [PDF]