Evaluation is a powerful tool for improving a program and increasing its ability to serve people more efficiently and effectively. It gives programs an opportunity to test their interventions, adjust services to best meet community needs, and collect data to support their work.
The Evaluation Cycle
Navigating the Evaluation Cycle
CNCS has a number of resources to assist your program as it moves through each stage of evaluation:
- Planning is essential for all successful evaluations and is necessary to account for your organization's and program's unique characteristics. In this stage, organizations learn about logic models, developing research questions, designing and writing an evaluation, budgeting, and more.
- Implementation involves understanding and managing the evaluation process to ensure the seamless collection of information. This stage breaks down the basic steps of an evaluation along with details on data collection and managing an evaluation.
- Analysis and Reporting are necessary for taking the data collected during the evaluation, deriving meaning, and then sharing those findings with project stakeholders. During this stage, organizations learn about formats for sharing evaluation results and access resources that help outside parties understand them.
- Using Evaluation Results for Action and Improvement is the final step and the primary reason for organizations conducting evaluations in the first place. Building upon analysis and reporting, this stage helps organizations understand how to apply lessons learned from their evaluations to develop actionable strategies and opportunities to improve their programs.
- Use the Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool to assess your organization's strengths, clarify perceptions, and plan strategies to enhance capacity in identified areas.
- Learn how you can receive one-on-one or ad hoc Technical Assistance for your program at no cost.
- Visit the Evidence Continuum and Levels of Evidence page to improve your understanding of evaluation and measurement in every phase of a program's lifecycle.
- Learn more about CNCS’ Evaluation Policies, including details about evaluation requirements.
- Visit CNCS’ Evidence Exchange page to browse evaluation studies, ranging from promising to proven, by CNCS grantees.