Planning an Evaluation

Investing time in planning an evaluation helps to ensure that your evaluation will produce useful information for program improvement.

 

 

Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation

AmeriCorps State & National

Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation: This presentation covers five foundational activities that programs should undertake during their first grant cycle so that they are ready to do an evaluation when they receive recompete funding for a second grant cycle.

  • Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation Assessment Tool (PDF)
  • Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation Assessment Handout (PDF)
  • Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation - First Six Years Handout (PDF)
  • Access the recording of the Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation presentation held on January 28, 2016 here. (Description of audio.)  
 

Logic Models  

AmeriCorps State & National

Logic Models: This course introduces the key components of a logic model and discusses how logic models can be used to support daily program operations and evaluation planning.

Social Innovation Fund (SIF)
  • College Preparation example (PDF)
 

Developing Research Questions

AmeriCorps State & National

Developing the Right Research Questions: This presentation describes the importance of research questions in overall program evaluation design, identifies the four basic steps for developing research questions, and demonstrates how to write strong research questions for different types of evaluation designs (i.e., process evaluation and outcome evaluation).

  • Developing the Right Research Questions Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Research Questions Handout (PDF) (DOC)
  • Access the recording of the Developing the Right Research Questions presentation held on April 16, 2015 here. (Description of audio.)
 

Designing an Evaluation

AmeriCorps State & National

Overview of Evaluation Design: This course explains different types of evaluation designs, the differences between them, the key elements of each, as well as considerations in selecting a design for your AmeriCorps program evaluation.

Social Innovation Fund (SIF)
  • SIF Evaluation Plan (SEP) Guidance (PDF)
  • Subgrantee Evaluation Plan Getting Started Tutorials (web page). The tutorial contains the following modules:
    • Developing your Portfolio Evaluation Strategy (PES)
    • Introducing the Subgrantee Evaluation Plan (SEP)
    • Working with Evaluation Professionals
    • Planning for SEP Development
 

Writing an Evaluation Plan

AmeriCorps State & National

Evaluation Plans and Reports for Grantees with CNCS Share Less than $500,000: This session was intended for grantees who already understand the AmeriCorps evaluation requirements. Participants reviewed the essential components of evaluation plans and reports.

  • How to Write an Evaluation Plan and Report Slides (PDF)
  • Evaluator Qualifications and Independence (PDF)
  • Sample Evaluation Plan (PDF)
  • Sample Evaluation Plan Checklist (PDF)
  • Sample Logic Model (PDF)

Evaluation Plans and Reports for Grantees with CNCS Share Greater than $500,000: This session was intended for grantees who already understand the AmeriCorps evaluation requirements. Participants reviewed the essential components of evaluation plans and reports.

  • How to Write an Evaluation Plan and Report Slides (PDF)
  • Evaluator Qualifications and Independence (PDF)
  • Sample Evaluation Plan (PDF)
  • Sample Evaluation Plan Checklist (PDF)
  • Sample Logic Model (PDF)

How to Write an Evaluation Plan: This course explains the purpose of an evaluation plan and outlines the key sections of the plan and what should be included in each section.

  • How to Write an Evaluation Plan Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • How to Write an Evaluation Plan Slides February 26 (PDF
  • Handout packet for how to write an evaluation plan (PDF)
  • Sample evaluation plan checklist (PDF)
  • Example Impact Evaluation Plan (PDF)
  • Example Impact Evaluation Plan Annotated (PDF) (Accessible Version)
  • Example Process Evaluation Plan (PDF)
  • Example Process Evaluation Plan Annotated (PDF) (Accessible Version)
  • Access the recording of the How to Write an Evaluation Plan presentation held on February 26, 2015 here. (Description of audio.)
Social Innovation Fund (SIF)
  • SIF Evaluation Plan (SEP) Guidance (PDF)
 

Budgeting for an Evaluation

AmeriCorps State & National

Budgeting for Evaluation: This course discusses the key components of an evaluation budget and approaches for creating an evaluation budget.

  • Budgeting for Evaluation Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Access the recording of the Budgeting for Evaluation presentation held on December 11, 2014 here. (Description of audio.)  
 

Recruiting and Managing an Evaluator

AmeriCorps State & National

Managing an External Evaluation: This presentation describes how to manage an external evaluation and is intended for grantees that are considering or will be undertaking an external evaluation of their program.

  • Managing an External Evaluation Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Example Statement of Work (PDF) (DOC)
  • Sample Evaluation RFP (PDF) (DOC)
  • Sample Evaluator Assessment Form (PDF) (DOC)
  • Hiring the Right Evaluator (PDF)
  • Group Exercise (PDF) (DOC)
  • Access the recording of the How to Manage an External Evaluation presentation held on March 19, 2015 here. (Description of audio.)
Social Innovation Fund (SIF)
  • Evaluator Screening Tips (PDF)
 

Conducting a Needs or Readiness Assessment

 Social Innovation Fund (SIF)
  • Impact Evaluability Assessment Tool (PDF)
  • Assessing Levels of Evidence (PDF
 

Additional Resources

  • Assessing and Building Local Evaluation Networks Webinar (PPT) (PDF)
    (The content of the Assessing and Building Local Evaluation Networks Webinaron is contained in the PowerPoint slides. There is no accompanying audio recording)
  • Administrative Data (web page)
  • Examples of Effective SEPs (web page)
  • How program managers can use low-cost experiments to improve results: A video overview (web page)
  • Working with Institutional Review Boards (PDF)

 

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