Questions to ask before you start the evaluation process

  • For what purpose is the evaluation being done? There are many reasons to evaluate programs. Some donors require outcome analysis and measurement. Evaluation can help prioritize programs in the event of budget cuts, or help decide where to use additional funding. Perhaps you want to reevaluate a program after complaints, or just make sure that you’re using resources wisely. Make sure your evaluation method fits your needs.
  • What is your intended audience for the information from the evaluation? Is it for internal staff, donors, clients, etc?
  • What sources of information do you intend to utilize for the assessment? Do you want to use stakeholder, client, or employee surveys? Is the information you want accounts of how people experience your organization (qualitative) or numerical results (quantitative)? What about program documentation or demographic information?
  • What is the timeline of the evaluation? Do you need the information before an important grant application is due? If you’re working under a deadline, a simpler, less intensive form of evaluation might be best.
  • What resources can you devote to the assessment process?

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