Checklist for Program Evaluation Planning

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    Checklist for Program Evaluation Planning

    © Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD

    The following checklist might prove useful when planning evaluations for programs. The reader would benefit from first reading Basic Guide to Program Evaluation.

    Name of Organization

    Name of Program

    Purpose of Evaluation?
    What do you want to be able to decide as a result of the evaluation? For example:
    __ Understand, verify or increase impact of products or services on customers/clients (eg, outcomes evaluation)
    __ Improve delivery mechanisms to be more efficient and less costly (eg, process evaluation)
    __ Verify that we’re doing what we think we’re doing (eg, process evaluation)
    __ Clarify program goals, processes and outcomes for management planning
    __ Public relations
    __ Program comparisons, eg., to decide which should be retained
    __ Fully examine and describe effective programs for duplication elsewhere
    __ Other reason(s)

    Audience(s) for the Evaluation?
    Who are the audiences for the information from the evaluation, for example:
    __ Clients/customers
    __ Funders/Investors
    __ Board members
    __ Management
    __ Staff/employees
    __ Other(s)

    What Kinds of Information Are Needed?
    What kinds of information are needed to make the decision you need to make and/or enlighten your intended audiences, for example, information to understand:
    __ The process of the product or service delivery (its inputs, activities and outputs)
    __ The customers/clients who experience the product or service
    __ Strengths and weaknesses of the product or service
    __ Benefits to customers/clients (outcomes)
    __ How the product or service failed and why, etc.
    __ Other type(s) of information?

    Type of Evaluation?
    Based on the purpose of the evaluation and the kinds of information needed, what types of evaluation is being planned?
    __ Goal-based?
    __ Process-based?
    __ Outcomes-based?
    __ Other(s)?

    Where Should Information Be Collected From?
    __ Staff/employees
    __ Clients/customers
    __ Program documentation
    __ Funders/Investors
    __ Other(s)

    How Can Information Be Collected in Reasonable and Realistic Fashion?
    __ questionnaires
    __ interviews
    __ documentation
    __ observing clients/customers
    __ observing staff/employees
    __ conducting focus groups among
    __ other(s)

    When is the Information Needed?

    What Resources Are Available to Collect the Information?

    For the Category of Evaluations (Many Kinds):

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