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Evaluation 101 Laura Pejsa Goff Pejsa & Associates MESI 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Evaluation 101 Laura Pejsa Goff Pejsa & Associates MESI 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evaluation 101 Laura Pejsa Goff Pejsa & Associates MESI 2014

2 Objectives  Gain a greater understanding of evaluation and evaluative thinking  Learn about some practical approaches & get familiar with some tools to use  Have an opportunity to apply your learning directly to a real world case

3 Session Outline Introductions / Intro to the day Grounding definitions & terms Understanding “programs” (purpose & logic) Evaluative thinking and the evaluation process Strategies for making evaluation desirable & usable Debrief, questions, & close

4 Metaphors: Your Ideas about Evaluation Think of one object that represents your ideas and/or feelings about evaluation Prepare to explain your choice Share your with the person sitting next to you and notice common themes Prepare to share your common themes with the group.

5 5 E-VALU-ation  "Value" is the root word of evaluation  Evaluation involves making value judgments, according to many in the field

6 Traditional definition: Michael Scriven (from Michael Scriven, 1967, and the earlier Program Evaluation Standards) "The systematic determination of the merit, worth (or value) of an object” 6

7 Important concepts in this definition SYSTEMATIC means that evaluators use explicit rules and procedures to make determinations MERIT is the absolute or intrinsic value of an object WORTH is the relative or extrinsic value of an object in a given context 7

8 An Alternative Definition: Michael Quinn Patton Systematic collection of information about the activities, characteristics, and results of programs to (1) to make judgments about the program, (2) improve or further develop program effectiveness, (3) inform decisions, and/or (4) increase understanding. Done for and with specific intended primary users for specific, intended uses.

9 Commonalities among definitions Evaluation is a systematic process Evaluation involves collecting data Evaluation is a process for enhancing knowledge and decision making Evaluation use is implicit or explicit Russ-Eft & Preskill (2009, p. 4) 9

10 Discussion: Why Do Evaluation? What are the things we might gain from engaging in evaluation/an evaluative process? Why is it in our interest to do it? Why is it in the interest of the people we serve to do it? What are the benefits?

11 From the textbooks… evaluation purposes Accreditation Accountability Goal attainment Consumer protection Needs assessment Object improvement Understanding or support Social change Decision making

12 One basic distinction… Internal vs. External 12 INTERNAL evaluation  Conducted by program employees  Plus side: Knowledge of program  Minus side: Potential bias and influence

13 EXTERNAL evaluation Conducted by outsiders, often for a fee Plus side: Less visible bias Minus side: Outsiders have to gain entrée; have less first-hand knowledge of the program 13

14 Scriven's classic terms 14 FORMATIVE evaluation Conducted during the development or delivery of a program Feedback for program improvement

15 SUMMATIVE evaluation Typically done at the end of a project or project period Often done for other users or for accountability purposes 15 Scriven's classic terms

16 16 DEVELOPMENTAL evaluation Help develop a program or intervention Evaluators part of the program design team Use systematically collected data A new(er) term from Patton

17 What is the evaluation process? Every evaluation shares similar procedures 17

18 Patton’s Basics of Evaluation: What? So what? Now what?

19 19 General Phases of evaluation planning PhasePhase NameQuestion I Object descriptionWhat are we evaluating? II Context analysis 1. Why are we doing an evaluation? 2. What do we hope to learn? III Evaluation plan How will we conduct the study? conduct the study?

20 What? 20 Words? Pictures? The key is understanding…

21 “ We build the road, and the road builds us.” -Sri Lankan saying 21 A word about logic models and theories of change… one way to understand a program.

22 Simplest form of a logic model 22 INPUTSOUTPUTSOUTCOMES Results-oriented planning

23 23 A bit more detail... INPUTSOUTPUTSOUTCOMES Program investments ActivitiesPartici- pation Short Medium What we invest What we do Who we reach What results? SO WHAT? What is the VALUE? Long -term

24 A simplistic example… Inputs: Outputs OUTCOMES Short


26 What does a logic model look like? 26

27 Regardless of format, what do logic models and theories of change have in common? 27  They show activities linked to outcomes  They show relationships/connections that make sense (are logical). Arrows are used to show the connections (the “if-then” relationships)  They are (hopefully) understandable  They do not and cannot explain everything about a program!

28 The Case

29 The Case: Logic and/or Theory Draw a Picture… Inputs (what goes in to the program to make it possible?) Outputs (Activities: what do they do? Participation: counts) Outcomes (what do they think will happen?) Short, medium, and long term

30 What can we evaluate? Context Input(s) Process(es) Product(s) Daniel Stufflebeam

31 The basic inquiry tasks (BIT) 1. Framing questions 2. Determining an appropriate design 3. Identifying a sample 4. Collecting data 5. Analyzing data and presenting results 6. Interpreting results 7. “Reporting”

32 Back to the Case: What are our questions? Evaluation Question #1 #2 #3

33 Back to the Case: What do we need to know, and where can we find it? Evaluation QuestionInformation Needed Information Source #1 #2 #3

34 Possible ways to collect data Quantitative: o Surveys o Participant Assessments o Cost-benefit Analysis o Statistical Analysis of existing program data o Some kinds of record and document review Qualitative: o Focus Groups o Interviews o Observations o Appreciative inquiry o Some kinds of record and document review

35 What are the best methods for your evaluation? It all goes back to your question(s)… Some data collection methods are better than others at answering your questions Some tools are more appropriate for the audience you need to collect information from or report findings to Each method of collecting data has its advantages and disadvantages (e.g., cost, availability of information, expertise required)

36 Back to the Case: How will we find out? Evaluation QuestionInformation Needed Information Source Methods #1 #2 #3

37 Reminder: Importance of Context

38 Desire & Use How do we make this process palatable, even desirable? What can we do to make information USE more likely? Ways of sharing and reporting

39 Debrief & Questions What are the most important take-aways from today’s session? What can you apply in your own work? What questions remain for you?

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