Every evaluation begins with a planning process. Using the program or organization's theory of change as a starting point, we work with clients to prioritize which outcomes are most important to evaluate. This helps clients focus on what they most need to know, and keeps the evaluation from becoming unwieldy or overly time-consuming.
We don't presume to define what success looks like. We work with clients to determine appropriate indicators for each outcome. Defining indicators is critical to a successful evaluation, since the indicators inform what data collection approaches make the most sense.
Generally, once the evaluation plan is defined, we proceed to data collection and analysis, but for some clients, our work stops with the evaluation plan. For example, they may want a plan to show their board so that they can build their evaluation readiness or raise funds for the evaluation process.
Next: Outcome Evaluation