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Difference Between Audit and Evaluation

EVALUATION
Evaluation is all about identifying and understanding a particular process and then the willingness to redesign and improve the process or make the necessary alterations in the process to result in an improved achievement.

finance Basically, evaluation is considered as a learning tool as it is always done during the middle of the process or at the end of the process. It is all about identifying and understanding the results of a process and their impacts and what can be the best alternatives to help in decision-making which would lead further improvement in the process.
The most important intention behind evaluation is to enable `learning-by-doing`. By `learning-by-doing` we mean that a process can be understood and performed in a better way only by doing it first and then finding out ways to improvise upon it. Also it would further help in improving the results-oriented activities by re-engineering or say re-designing the ongoing activities and by crafting improved design for new ones.
The most important factor regulating evaluation is accountability; i.e. whether results are achieved or not and what are the reasons behind the success or failure of the process followed.
Evaluation comprises three things:
Whether we are doing the right things
Whether we are doing it right
Whether there are better ways of doing it

AUDIT
Audit may be defined as an independent assurance activity designed with an objective to add value and improve the working and operations of a particular organization. It is introduced to improve the control and governance processes in an organization and also to check the efficiency of risk management. This is done by bringing in a systematic and disciplined approach to assess the overall working of the organization. In audit, accountability is very important as it focuses on the success of the management framework and its appropriateness and provides assurance for the effective management practices in the organization.
Audit comprises:
INTERNAL AUDIT: Here, auditing is done within the organization and reporting is done to the senior management of the organization.
EXTERNAL AUDIT: Here, auditing is done by an independent entity and reporting is done to the governing body of the organization being audited.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EVALUATION AND AUDIT
Evaluation is a part of the Management Cycle(planning implementation evaluation)
Audit is independent from Management Cycle since it comes into scene after the completion of Management Cycle.
Evaluation talks about doing the right thing while audit talks about how the things are done.
Evaluation involves doing it right while audit involves managing it right.
Evaluation is about sustainability while audit is about efficiency.
Evaluation approach follows good practices while audit works against norms.
Evaluation is done at the end-of-phase while audit can be done any time.
Anything can be evaluated while things falling under the management control only can be evaluated.


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2 Comments

  1. it is very useful.

  2. After reading this I’m not persuaded that there is such a great difference between audit and evlauation. Many of the differences seem to be synonyms of basically the same thing with perhaps slightly different nuances in cultural practice due to the different genealogies and disciplinary links of evaluation versus auditing practices. But I suspect these differences are increasingly becoming blurred.

    Also, some of this information about evaluation is in error or outdated. Evaluation, for instance, can also be done at any time. “Summative evaluation” refers to end-of-phase evaluation and “formative evaluation” refers to evaluations conducted during the management cycle – usually mid-cycle. Some evaluators also distinguish proactive evaluation which occurs prior to the design of a program/policy etc.

    I am also not aware of any clear cut line in evaluation concern with sustainability rather efficiency. For instnace, in international development the widely-accepted DAC evaluation criteria include: Relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability and impact. Moreover, it is often commented that in practice management efficiency is usually addressed more effectively by evaluators than sustainability issues (because it is generally easier).

    If I had to distinguish between audit and evlauation I would say that audit could be regarded (though it isn’t historically) as a narrow subset of evaluation practice. Audit specialises in:

    adopting a management/funder stakeholder perspective (hence emphasis on mgt efficiency);

    establishing criteria and standards based on widely accepted / adopted mgt practices;

    steering clear of more overtly political or open-ended criteria, questions or issues such as whose interests are being served or what constitutes good outcome(s); and

    narrowing the evaluative scope to focus primarily on processes – the effectiveness or possibly even just the compliance with processes that are assumed to be or pre-established as ‘effective’.

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