Where do I begin in producing meaningful data?
Evaluation is a multi-step process that requires an on-going effort of measurement, training, and reporting. Understanding the Outcome Accountability Process is key to moving forward in any program. Data must be collected, analyzed and reported on to be meaningful.
Incorporating evaluation can seem overwhelming to programs that have had little or no experience with evaluation. One of the first things to consider is choosing your evaluation tool.
What do I need to consider in choosing an evaluation tool?
In order to choose an evaluation tool that is right for your program, you must consider your program capacity to engage in evaluation efforts. Programs must consider:
While searching the Compendium for evaluation tools, you will notice that information about costs, training, and technical requirements are listed when the information has been available. This will provide you with the opportunity to choose a tool that not only reflects the outcomes and indicators associated with your program, but also coincides with the resources your program has to offer. Programs may also consider whether or not they will hire an external evaluator or provide evaluation services within their existing program.
Whether your program has limited evaluation funds and a small staff, or an ample evaluation budget complete with technical expertise, there is an evaluation tool that will fit your outcome needs and your program capacity. All programs have the capability to engage in high-quality evaluation efforts, no matter what size or program model you have adopted. By utilizing a tool that meets your program philosophy and highlights the skills of your staff, you are more likely to make evaluation an enriching experience for program staff and participants.
Once you choose the tool, programs must then consider how to train their staff and then collect the data. Once this is completed, programs must then utilize the data collected.
What information is available on this site in data utilization?
FRIENDS has developed information in various areas in data utilization. These areas include:
Click on each of the links above to get more information..