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Checklist for Program Evaluation Planning

© Copyright Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD

The following checklist might prove useful when planning evaluations for programs. The reader would benefit from first reading Basic Guide to Program Evaluation.

Name of Organization

Name of Program

Purpose of Evaluation?
What do you want to be able to decide as a result of the evaluation? For example:
__ Understand, verify or increase impact of products or services on customers/clients (eg, outcomes evaluation)
__ Improve delivery mechanisms to be more efficient and less costly (eg, process evaluation)
__ Verify that we're doing what we think we're doing (eg, process evaluation)
__ Clarify program goals, processes and outcomes for management planning
__ Public relations
__ Program comparisons, eg., to decide which should be retained
__ Fully examine and describe effective programs for duplication elsewhere
__ Other reason(s)

Audience(s) for the Evaluation?
Who are the audiences for the information from the evaluation, for example:
__ Clients/customers
__ Funders/Investors
__ Board members
__ Management
__ Staff/employees
__ Other(s)

What Kinds of Information Are Needed?
What kinds of information are needed to make the decision you need to make and/or enlighten your intended audiences, for example, information to understand:
__ The process of the product or service delivery (its inputs, activities and outputs)
__ The customers/clients who experience the product or service
__ Strengths and weaknesses of the product or service
__ Benefits to customers/clients (outcomes)
__ How the product or service failed and why, etc.
__ Other type(s) of information?

Type of Evaluation?
Based on the purpose of the evaluation and the kinds of information needed, what types of evaluation is being planned?
__ Goal-based?
__ Process-based?
__ Outcomes-based?
__ Other(s)?

Where Should Information Be Collected From?
__ Staff/employees
__ Clients/customers
__ Program documentation
__ Funders/Investors
__ Other(s)

How Can Information Be Collected in Reasonable and Realistic Fashion?
__ questionnaires
__ interviews
__ documentation
__ observing clients/customers
__ observing staff/employees
__ conducting focus groups among
__ other(s)

When is the Information Needed?

What Resources Are Available to Collect the Information?


For the Category of Evaluations (Many Kinds):

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