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Self-evaluation is a method whereby the experts directing the practical work are identical with the assessors. This means that the actors check their own activities – they are therefore at the same time responsible in practice and responsible for the appraisal.¹ In terms of content, the questions in a self-evaluation are no different from those in an external evaluation. The focus is on appraising a project’s relevance, effectiveness and economic viability. In a supported self-evaluation, a recognised institute or a recognised expert assists the project managers in planning, implementation and reporting of the self-evaluation.

Greater motivation of those being evaluatedLess distance
Insider knowledge can be usedFundamental questions asked less
Evaluators are familiar with the subjectLack of evaluation knowledge
Ownership of results leads to swift implementationLess legitimacy for outside world
Greater acceptance of results within the organisation
Less costly to organise


Self-evaluation is particularly suitable for appraisals that are carried out for the purpose of learning. It is well suited to analysing processes and to bring about step-by-step improvements. Self-evaluations can also be carried out when funds are tight.

Attention must be paid even in self-evaluations to ensuring that there is enough time and resources, the requisite know-how exists or is made available, and responsibilities are clearly defined. Self-evaluations will otherwise often fail due to the complexity of the methods and a lack of resources.

¹ Source: Hildegard Müller-Kohlenberg, Wolfgang Beywl (2003): Standards der Selbstevaluation, Begründung und aktueller Diskussionsstand. Zeitschrift für Evaluation 1/2003, Cologne.