We developed a conceptual framework for evaluating the process of ecological restoration and applied it to 10 examples of restoration projects in the northern hemisphere. We identified three major phases, planning, implementation, and monitoring, in the restoration process. We found that evaluation occurred both within and between the three phases, that it included both formal and informal components, and that it often had an impact on the performance of the projects. Most evaluations were short-term and only some parts of them were properly documented. Poor or short-term evaluation of the restoration process creates a risk that inefficient methods will continue to be used, which reduces the efficiency and effectiveness of restoration. To improve the restoration process and to transfer the knowledge to future projects, we argue for more formal, sustained evaluation procedures, involving all relevant stakeholders, and increased and improved documentation and dissemination of the results.