- Determine the purpose of the evaluation.
Example: demonstrate program success to support increased funding. Identify areas for program improvements. Determine the needs of a target population.
- Identify the audience for the evaluation.
Who are the stakeholders and communities impacted by the outcomes of the evaluation? Engage these individuals early and often in the evaluation process.
- Develop a strong, measurable research question.
Example: did the program reduce malnutrition rates among children under five?
- Utilize Community-Based Participatory Strategies
Engage the community and program staff as equal members in the research process; build on one another’s strengths, resources, and relationships to identify and address health concerns.
- Have a control group and/or perform pre-post assessments.
Developing an evaluation from the start of the program will produce higher quality data; when possible, integrate program evaluators into the program planning process.
- Use existing, validated measures.
Utilize already existing, valid surveys to adapt for your program’s evaluation purposes.
- Every question should have a purpose.
Do not ask questions for the sake of collecting information. Have a purpose. Collect only what is necessary.
- Triangulate data when possible.
Incorporate different modes of data collection (e.g. qualitative, quantitative, archival) to validate findings and overcome weaknesses found in choosing one method of data collection.
- Ensure ethical practices when collecting sensitive data.
Collect only necessary information, de-identify personalized information, create codes, and utilize self-administered questionnaires to protect participant privacy and confidentiality.
- Determine how to best disseminate and utilize findings.
Change the tone, look, and read of findings according to the audience. Use findings to make policy or program changes, appeal to funders, help other agencies replicate programs.
Thanks for reading! What topics do you want to learn about next? Comment below!