These pioneering evaluation guidelines provide the framing, criteria, dimensions, and methods for assessing the quality of CGIAR research for development. They can be adapted by like-minded organizations conducting research for development (R4D).

Rigorous, independent, and external evaluations form the foundation of CGIAR’s effort to inform the design of interventions, provide actionable evidence to support management and governance decisions, and ensure a high level of accountability to donors. In 2022, the CGIAR System Council and Board approved the CGIAR Evaluation Framework and Policy accompanied by specific guidelines to facilitate uptake of the framework and policy.

The methods and criteria for evaluating CGIAR research are underpinned by two fundamental frameworks crucial to CGIAR and its stakeholders: the Quality of Research for Development Frame of Reference (QoR4D; last revision 2020), and the 2019 OECD Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) Evaluation Criteria. As a global standard in the evaluation of international development co-operation, the OECD/DAC criteria provide a basis for making evaluative judgments. The QoR4D framework facilitates CGIAR System-wide agreement on the nature and assessment of the quality of scientific research. Bridging these two frameworks is imperative for process and performance evaluations in CGIAR’s research for development context, in support of evaluation framework and policy.

The Quality of Science evaluation criterion is one of seven CGIAR evaluation criteria and underlines the identity of CGIAR as a global research-for-development partnership. The QoS evaluation criterion assures evaluative coverage of two QoR4D elements which are not explicit OECD/DAC criteria.

These guidelines on applying QoR4 frame of reference in process and performance evaluations will be useful to those who provide inputs into evaluations in the CGIAR system. There will be useful for evaluators, evaluation managers and commissioners, MEL professionals, and research managers. In addition, the guidelines are sufficiently broad to be applicable and adapted across many contexts by CGIAR partners and like-minded organizations conducting research for development. 

Soliciting Input and Feedback

For queries and feedback about learning from the roll-out and application of this Beta version contact the Evaluation Function within the Independent Advisory and Evaluation Service (IAES) of CGIAR at IAES-Evaluations@cgiar.org.

FAQs tab would be developed and updated to facilitate roll-out and learning to best ensure effective and cost-efficient evaluations, including in CGIAR.


CGIAR Independent Advisory and Evaluation Service (IAES). (2022). Applying the CGIAR Quality of Research for Development Framework to Process & Performance Evaluations. (Beta version) Rome: IAES.


Independent Advisory and Evaluation Service (IAES)