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Extra resources for The ABCs of Evaluation. Timeless Techniques for Program and Project Managers
Evaluation decisions flow through the various stages in the evaluation. Consequently, in this chapter you will learn whom to involve in the evaluation, and how and why they should be involved. You will learn how to monitor evaluation data and engage in process (formative) evaluation as well as product (summative) evaluation. Chapter Four addresses a number of questions regarding the evaluator's program description: Why do you need it? How does it relate to your objectives and activities? The chapter will include discussion of the importance of gleaning information from program staff, for example, goals and objectives, the activities planned to achieve the goals and objectives, and the measures that will be used to evaluate the results.
In Chapter Six, you will learn to identify the data sources that will help you, as an evaluator, to determine whether the program has met its objectives. Two important questions are answered: How do data sources relate to the evaluator's program description? Are paper-and-pencil instruments the only form of measurement? This chapter also introduces logic models as an additional means of understanding project concept and project flow. If a logic model exists, it is advisable that an evaluator discusses it with the project staff so that there is total understanding of the intent, process, and intended outcomes.
You might perform pretesting and posttesting of clients to ascertain their change, or, to see the benefits of program participation, compare one group who received the activities of the program with a group who did not. Here you measure the extent to which individuals acquired the knowledge, skills, and attitudes originally projected. Program staff and sponsors will be particularly interested in the results of this level of evaluation. In level 3 you are attempting to discover the overall impact of the program on clients: Did the program change their long-term behavior, attitudes, or performance?