The Program Manager’s Guide to Evaluation
Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
WHY EVALUATE YOUR PROGRAM?
Common concerns about evaluation
Guidelines for conducting a successful evaluation
About this manual
WHAT IS PROGRAM EVALUATION?
What are the basic questions an evaluation can answer?
What is involved in conducting an evaluation?
What will an evaluation cost?
WHO SHOULD CONDUCT YOUR EVALUATION?
What are some possible types of evaluation teams?
How can you decide what team is best for you?
HOW DO YOU HIRE AND MANAGE AN OUTSIDE EVALUATOR?
Finding an outside evaluator
What to do when you have trouble hiring an evaluator
Managing an evaluation headed by an outside evaluator
Creating a contract
What to do if problems arise
Potential Responsibilities of the Evaluator
Potential Responsibilities of the Program Manager
HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR AN EVALUATION?
Step 1: Decide what to evaluate
Step 2: Build a logic model of your program
Step 3: State your program implementation and participant outcome objectives in measurable terms
Step 4: Identify the context for your evaluation
WHAT SHOULD YOU INCLUDE IN AN EVALUATION PLAN?
Section I. The evaluation framework
Section II. Evaluating implementation objectives – procedures and methods
Section III. Evaluating participant outcome objectives
Section IV. Procedures for managing and monitoring the evaluation
Sample Outline for Evaluation Plan
Sample Informed Consent Form
HOW DO YOU GET THE INFORMATION YOU NEED FOR YOUR EVALUATION? 63
What specific information do you need to address objectives?
What are the best sources?
What are the most effective data collection instruments?
What procedures should you use to collect data?
What can be done to ensure the effectiveness of instruments and procedures?
How can you monitor data collection activities?
HOW DO YOU MAKE SENSE OF EVALUATION INFORMATION?
Analyzing information about program implementation objectives
Analyzing information about participant outcome objectives
Using the results of your analyses
HOW CAN YOU REPORT WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED?
Preparing an evaluation report for program funders
Preparing an evaluation report for program staff and agency personnel
Preparing an evaluation report for potential funders and advocacy organizations
Disseminating the results of your evaluation
APPENDIX: EVALUATION RESOURCES
Evaluation Manuals and Guides
Online Evaluation Toolkits
Other Online Resources
Clearinghouses and Organizations
Locating Information Collection Instruments/Measures