Measurement and Evaluation Approach Worksheet

Description:

Describe your measurement and evaluation approach for each objective(3 objectives in total) . At minimum, show alignment across your objective, measurement criteria, and measurement tool.Alternatively, you may follow the AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework. It is highly recommended to watch the lecture in order to learn how to do this section of the campaign.

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AS.480.642.81 – CSR Campaigns
SPRING 2022
Module 11 Lecture Transcript
Monitoring and Evaluation
This week you’ll complete the building blocks of your CSR campaign’s communication
plan, focused on monitoring and evaluation.
[Slide 2 – Iterate]
Developing a campaign is an iterative process. You will learn more and more about your
campaign as you develop it. For example, you learn more about your objectives when
you develop your strategies, because developing and describing your strategies reveals
whether an objective will help you achieve your goal based on the needs of your
audience. The same realization occurs when you develop your tactics.
[Slide 3 – Sketch and Final design by Paul Cezanne]
Iteration is how creative teams work. Think about how a designer begins with a concept
and then sketches out their idea, shares the rough idea with a creative director who
provides feedback and illuminates opportunities to improve that idea.
My point with inviting you to learn about iteration is to encourage you to enjoy the
process of experimentation – and refinement of your work. You want to develop the
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Monitoring and Evaluation
most creative, effective, and strategic campaign possible. Please don’t try to do all of
that in your first drafts!
Stop the lecture here and watch the video uploaded to Module 11 called: “Iterative
Process” to see how designers use iteration to improve their craft.
[Slide 4 – the matrix]
Ok, now we’ll move into the core content for this week: measurement and evaluation.
Here you see our trusty Communication matrix and you’ll notice that evaluation is the
last part of the process.
But you also know from writing your objectives that we “begin with the end in mind” as
Steven Covey was fond of saying. What that means is that we think about measurement
when we set our objectives.
[Slide 5 – Evaluation]
Evaluation criteria are the desired results as stipulated in the objectives.
Evaluation tools are the methods we use to gather the data.
[Slide 6 – Matrix Applied example]
Pages 196-197 in your reading show you several examples of how to align your criteria
and tool with each objective. In this example, a regional bank conducted research that
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AS.480.642.81 – CSR Campaigns
Monitoring and Evaluation
showed brand loyalty depends on the quality of customer service each person
experiences. Therefore, the bank’s communications team set 4 objectives to improve
the customer experience.
Note: Oftentimes, customer experience projects form “cross functional teams” which are
composed of leaders from a variety of organizational functions (such as marketing, HR,
communication, etc) in order to create shared objectives to improve different aspects of
the customer experience.
Here we see how the communications team has determined their criteria and
measurement tool for Objective #1.
[Slide 7: Lush Cosmetics]
Now we’ll look at our sample campaign plan for Lush Cosmetics. Here you see the
measurement criteria and tools for the Lush Cosmetics CSR campaign we’ve followed
each week.
[Slide 8: Social Media measurement]
Page 195 in your reading walks through HubSpot’s five social media measurement
tiers.
[Slide 9: Social Media Tips]
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Monitoring and Evaluation
Additionally, page 199 in your reading gives you some specific strategies for measuring
social media / digital marketing strategies.
[Slide 10: Your Homework/Building Block]
• Describe your measurement and evaluation approach for each objective.

At minimum, show alignment across your objective, measurement criteria, and
measurement tool.
[Slide 11: Additional information about Measurement]
There are a number of approaches toward measurement and evaluation.
For a more comprehensive and rigorous approach toward measurement and evaluation,
here is the first of two resources.
Note: this level of rigorous approach is not required for your campaign plan. However, if
you’re feeling ambitious and want to integrate some of these tools, you are welcome to.
Just be careful to be consistent and purposeful.
This is the framework developed by the International Association for the Measurement
and Evaluation of Communication, or AMEC.
AMEC’s method is captured in this graphic.
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Monitoring and Evaluation
AMEC’s method is comprehensive, and well suited for public relations, social marketing,
and influence campaigns.
Note that the AMEC method makes an appropriate and accurate distinction between
goals and objectives.
You can adopt a modified version of this approach for your campaign plan. But
remember that this is optional!
If you do follow this approach, you will focus on outtakes, outputs, outcomes and
impact, as appropriate.
[Slide 12: Out-takes]
Outtakes includes things like customer feedback surveys, feedback forms collected
during or at the conclusion of an event, and your observations as a participant in the
activity or event.
[Slide 13: Outputs]
Outputs are metrics associated with specific communication activities or products.
[Slide 14: Outcomes]
Outcomes are metrics that address longer-term effects on your stakeholders.
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Monitoring and Evaluation
[Slide 15: Impacts]
Impacts represent the cumulative effect of your implementing strategies to achieve your
client’s CSR enterprise goals.
In sum, AMEC offers a standardized method of evaluation that works with complex and
long-term communication campaigns.
[Slide 16: Flash cards]
As an additional – but not required—resource to strengthen your knowledge of
measurement and evaluation, there is a set of flash cards in the Module 11 folder. The
Flash Cards show an approach to monitoring and evaluation that is more commonly
designed into technical assistance, public diplomacy programs, and behavioral change
programs.
You are not required to use these flash cards, but you may if you choose.
[Slide 17: Flash card #3: Logic Frames]
I want to draw your attention especially to card number 3, which covers logic frames.
A logic frame depicts the program interventions by specifying inputs, activities, outputs,
outcomes and impacts in a sequential series.
[Slide 18: Flash card #10: Indicators]
Also take a look at flashcard number 10, which distinguishes indicators and outcomes.
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[Slide 19- Homework]
The resources I’ve shared offer just a sliver of information that is available on monitoring
and evaluation, which has become its own specialty within the communication field as
well as program and project management.
Regarding the building block for monitoring and evaluation, what I’m look for is a one- to
two-page Word document in which you present and justify your approach to monitoring
and evaluation.
If you designed SMART objectives, then metrics should naturally follow.
The monitoring and evaluation section of your communication plan presents those
metrics, and explains how you would gather and use information collected against those
metrics. This section assures your decision-makers that you have a valid and evidencebased approach to measure progress, use resources wisely, and course correct as
needed.
At minimum, show alignment across your objective, measurement criteria, and
measurement tool.
Alternatively, you may follow the AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework and you may
also draw insights from the Flashcards.
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AS.480.642.81 – CSR Campaigns
Monitoring and Evaluation
[Final Slide]
That concludes our examination of measurement. I look forward to reviewing your
building blocks this week.
Page 8 of 8
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PLANNING FOR PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING
61! EDITION
LAURIE J. WILSON, APR, Fellow PRSA
Brigham Young University
JOSEPH D. OGDEN
Brigham Young University
Kendall Hunt
publishing
company
Cover images used under license from Shutterstock, Inc.
Kendall Hunt
publishing
company
www.kendallhunt.com
Send all inquiries to:
4050 Westmark Drive
Dubuque, IA 52004-1840
Copyright 1995,1997, 2000 by Laurie J. Wilson
Copyright 2004, 2008, 2015 by Kendall Hunt Publishing Company
ISBN 978-1-4652-9774-7
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
Printed in the United States of America
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Communications measurement and evaluation
195
what we should focus on as our organization’s marketing, public relations and ad­
vertising communication specialists is setting objectives that are measured in terms
of results. We also need to justify budget expenditures in terms of results and deter­
mine program effectiveness in terms of results.
Evaluation of program effectiveness simply measures whether our tactics suc­
ceeded in delivering the right motivational messages to the right publics and caused
them to act. Action should bring the results needed to meet the objectives. Were
attitudes, opinions and behaviors changed? Did those changes produce the desired
outcome and satisfy the goal within the allocated budget? Evaluation that does not
measure end results simply cannot stand the test of today’s organizational manag­
ers. And communication professionals who cannot demonstrate that their efforts
produce the desired outcomes within acceptable expenditures are themselves
expendable.
Pamela Vaughan, HubSpot’s lead blog strategist, identifies the top five social
media ROI metrics. In examining those metrics, we see validated Katie Paine’s state­
ment at the beginning of this chapter. Measuring ROI of social media differs little
from measuring ROI of traditional media. The tools may be different, but the criteria
or metrics are essentially the same. According to Vaughan, we should:
First measure reach — How far your message spreads.
Second measure traffic — Does your reach generate traffic to websites or other
places, virtual or physical, where you market your product or idea?
Third measure conversion of traffic to leads — How much traffic is converted
to interest or leads?
Fourth measure conversion ofleads to customers — How many of the leads are
becoming customers or supporters?
Fifth compare conversion rates of different tactics — Which tactics had the
highest conversion rate of traffic to leads and leads to customers?
Essentially, Vaughan is suggesting we measure whether the tactics we are using
are getting the right messages to the key publics and motivating them to act so we
achieve results. Regardless of the channels we use — traditional media, social media
or any other channels and tactics — we must measure the effectiveness of our com­
munication. Any other criteria or metric is meaningless.
Evaluation is actually relatively easy if it is planned from the beginning of a cam­
paign using the Strategic Planning Matrix. Good evaluation owes a lot to good objec­
tives. If the objectives are written as outcomes to be accomplished in order to reach
the goal, then the evaluation will be results-oriented. Two steps must be considered
in evaluating any plan. First, by what criteria should we judge success (or what are
the metrics)? Second, what are the best tools to measure those criteria?
Evaluation criteria
It is particularly important in this era of “big data” to set clear objectives that then be­
come the metrics or evaluation criteria by which we measure success or results. Ac­
cording to Ash Ashutosh, CEO of Actifio, a provider of data management software,
EVALUATION
CRITERIA
Metrics or standards set
to measure success.
196
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Communications measurement and evaluation
Evaluation criteria and tools
wua
A regional banking institution’s research shows that while the public per­
ceives it is financially strong, well-managed and safe, brand loyalty even
in the financial industry is dependent upon perceptions of the quality
of customer service and the involvement of the organization in its local
communities. The bank implemented a campaign highlighting community
relations efforts and improved customer service. It had four objectives,
each of which becomes a criterion to measure success.
Objective one: Improve the bank’s overall customer service ratings
from 4.8 on a seven-point scale to 5.8 within six months (21 percent
increase).
Criteria: Customer service ratings are 5.8 or higher on June 1, 2015
(six months after campaign begins).
Tool: We’ll plan to use the bank’s automated email survey system to
measure customer satisfaction ratings two weeks before and two
weeks after June 1, 2015, and take the aggregate score. As an addition­
al step, we will monitor monthly customer satisfaction scores to gauge
our progress during the campaign.
Objective two: Improve the public perception of the bank as customer­
service oriented from 40 percent using that descriptor to 60 percent
using that descriptor within one year (50 percent increase).
Criteria: Sixty percent of customers will feel the bank is customer-ser­
vice oriented on Jan. 1, 2016 (one year after the campaign begins).
Tool: Replicate the values perception survey upon which the campaign
was built in June 2015 to measure progress toward the objective and
the first week of January 2016 to determine if the objective was met.
Objective three: Raise awareness of the bank’s local contributions to the
community to 60 percent within six months.
Criteria: Sixty percent of customers will know about at least one of the
bank’s contributions to the community on June 1, 2015.
Tool: Add an unaided recall question to the values perception survey
upon which the campaign was built. Determine progress toward the
objective with the interim survey in June 2015 and a final survey the
first week of January 2016.
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Communications measurement and evaluation
Objective four: To maintain a 94 percent customer retention rate during
2015 and a 95 percent retention rate for the four years after that
(through 2019).
Criteria: The bank loses less than 6 percent of its current customers in
2015 and less than 5 percent of its customer base each year from 2016
to 2019.
Tool: Use the bank’s customer records to determine what percent of
current customers remain each year. The number of customers on the
first day of January each year will serve as the benchmark.
“Organizations must find smarter data management approaches that enable them
to effectively corral and optimize their data.” One of the best ways to do this is to
clearly define success in terms of specific, measurable objectives so it becomes clear
what data is relevant.
Criteria are automatically determined when objectives are set. Objectives are
designed to provide direction to planning and to identify the results that define suc­
cess. Clients and managers will judge success by the criteria (objectives) you have
set. In this step of your plan, restate your objectives in terms of success, and desig­
nate an appropriate method for measuring each one, including a date. For example,
if one of your objectives is to increase name recognition of your client from 30 to 80
percent, the metric for success would be written, “Achieve 80 percent name recogni­
tion of the client’s name among key publics by June 30, 2015.”
The successful achievement of all campaign objectives should result in the ac­
complishment of the goal, which may or may not be directly measurable. If you
have followed the planning matrix, accomplishing the overall goal will signify to
management that you have achieved success in all three standards identified above.
You can justify the expenditure because you reached your goal within proposed
budget. You demonstrate effectiveness because your strategies and tactics combined
to accomplish the goal. And, you met the campaign objectives, which resulted in the
accomplishment of the goal.
Make sure to establish meaningful measures of success. Message exposure
doesn’t mean message receipt. Always keep in mind that behavior is the ultimate
measure.
In addition to evaluating campaign results, you should look at the effectiveness
of different parts of your plan, including how well strategies and tactics performed.
You should also evaluate your own performance: your professionalism, creativity
and ability to direct or implement a communication effort. You can add evaluation
factors that specifically address your success and effectiveness in community rela­
tions, media relations or some other skill area. While media placement is not a mea­
sure of whether a public received and acted upon a message, it is still a factor to be
evaluated within the context of effective strategies and tactics. Only through honest
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self-evaluation will you improve your skills. What did you do well? What could you
have done better? Where do you need more training or experience? These are pri­
marily internal measures and do not usually become part of the formal campaign put
together using the Strategic Planning Matrix. But they are, nonetheless, important.
Converting your objectives to evaluation criteria is your primary evaluation of
results. Additional criteria that address your team’s specific capability and expertise
are highly useful secondary criteria to measure your effectiveness and improve your
performance.
Evaluation tools
o
QP EVALUATION
° TOOLS
Methods used to gather
data needed to assess
whether evaluation
criteria were met.
Each objective must be converted to an evaluation criterion or metric, and each cri­
terion must be measurable by an evaluation tool. Measurement tools are essentially
research tools. They are the same kinds of methodologies used in research, but they
focus on outcomes. They include surveys, sales measures, vote counts, dollars raised
or saved, legislative bills passed or failed and hundreds of other concrete outcomes.
The rules of research apply in evaluation. Sound methodology will not only give you
credibility but also reliable and valid data on which to base future efforts.
Typically, evaluation measurements require a benchmark measurement before
the program begins, during the program or both. Without adequate planning for the
evaluation process, the benchmarks are often not taken before the campaign starts,
resulting in no data for comparison. Unless you know where you started, you can­
not determine how far you’ve come.
Although measurement tools are essentially the same as research methods,
many research organizations have specialized in evaluative methods. It would
be wise to access the websites and newsletters on evaluation and measurement
produced by specialty firms like Paine Publishing or Cision. While evaluation tools
for some objectives may be obvious, others may require complicated formulas that
would, for example, combine measures of sales, media placements and social media
referrals in some kind of sliding scale that measures the effect of communications,
marketing and customer engagement on product sales.
Clearly articulated evaluation tools must include the source of information and
how it will be obtained. Include all necessary tasks when describing the evaluation
tool for each criterion. If you are measuring the criteria mentioned above, your
evaluation tool would read something like this: “Conduct a random, statistically
viable, telephone survey of the key public population June 28 to 30, 2015, to deter­
mine what percent recognize the client’s name.” This data could then be compared
to the survey conducted at the beginning of the campaign Jan. 1 to 3, 2015, which
indicated 30 percent name recognition for the client.
Adding evaluation tools to calendars
and budgets
The evaluation process necessitates reviewing your calendar and budget to ensure
that all evaluation tools are scheduled and costs estimated. You can designate a sepa­
rate section of the calendar and budget to specifically address the planned evalua­
tion. A wiser choice might be to include evaluation as part of the planned strate­
gies and tactics for each public. Only with this kind of planning can you ensure
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Communications measurement and evaluation
Measuring social media
Katie Delahaye Paine, CEO of Paine Publishing, LLC, an online publisher
of magazines and e-books about PR and social media measurement,
tips you off on rethinking your approach to measurement.
There are key stakeholders, and then there’s everyone else. In that key
stakeholder group are probably a number of influential journalists who
publish their stories in a blog, on Facebook or via a link on Twitter. And
there are customers and employees who increasingly get information
about buying decisions from social media. Innumerable others have
influence to one degree or another. Measuring social media, therefore,
requires a variety of tools including employee surveys, customer surveys,
content analysis and Web analytics. Regardless of what you are measur­
ing, you can set up a perfect measurement system by following these
steps:
Use industry standards. Dozens of corporations — like GM, GE, Southwest
Airlines, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble — as well as leading industry
associations have published standards for social media. Read them. Use
them. It will save you a ton of arguments, http://painepublishing.com/
wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Complete-standards-document.pdf
Establish SMART objectives: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant
and time-bound. Start with clear goals and objectives and an under­
standing of how your program contributes to their accomplishment.
No longer does generating awareness in likes or links cut it.
Identify influential. According to established Social Media Measure­
ment Standards, influentials have reach, frequency and relevance. In other
words, they have an audience and produce good content frequently
enough to have some impact. Identify these people.
Establish benchmarks. When someone asks, “How did my campaign
do?” Your question should be, “Compared to what?” Without realistic and
relevant benchmarks against which to measure success, all metrics are
meaningless.
Get consensus on the metrics. Make sure your boss, your boss’s boss
and everyone else that will see your metrics has a common understand­
ing of what “success” looks like. Social media success is often ill-defined
and poorly understood. Gather everyone together and agree on the
desired results.
Determine from where the data will come. Some 500 or more tools
today purport to “measure” social media. Until you know what you’re
TIPS FROM
THE PROS
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200
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measuring, you can’t even begin to know what tools you need. If the goal
is awareness, you need a survey instrument. If it’s return on investment,
you need both budget and sales numbers. If it’s engagement, agree on
what “engagement” looks like.
Analyze and report insights. Data without insights is only trivia. Dig into
your data to figure out what it means and what it tells you about improv­
ing your program. Measurement can continuously improve your efforts —
but only if you really learn from the data. Examine trends over time.
Do complaints go up or down? Do relationships get better or worse? If
someone consistently writes about you, what do they say? Do not report
results in pie charts. They do not show progress or trends. Tell a story
with data, and figure out how best to illustrate it.
Repeat regularly.
Copyright © Kendall Hunt Publishing Company
that appropriate benchmark research is done in the beginning and throughout the
campaign to compare with evaluation research. It also enables you to incorporate
appropriate evaluation in the detailed planning for tactics. For example, if you need
to measure the number of attendees at events, or traffic to a blog, you will build into
the tactic a method for tracking those numbers. Trying to guesstimate such figures
later only causes your evaluation to be inadequate and your claim to success suspect.
Finally, including the evaluation tools in the calendar and budget for each public
ensures that funding is available for this critical function.
Summary
Communication and marketing professionals cannot expect to be taken seriously
unless they positively demonstrate the results of their efforts. Measuring the ef­
fectiveness of communication efforts can be a straightforward process if you use
the Strategic Communications Planning Matrix. The matrix focuses your efforts to
set objectives that are the outcomes which will combine to reach the overall goal.
Evaluation of the objectives should be as strategic a function as any part of the pro­
cess. Objectives become the evaluation criteria or metrics and must meet the highest
standards of evaluation measurement. Effective planning will also include determin­
ing how to measure the effectiveness of specific strategies and tactics as well as your
own performance.
Tools for measuring success are basically the same as the methodologies used in
research. Nevertheless, many professional research firms now specialize in evalua­
tive research and can design specific tools for your needs. Make sure to include the
evaluation tools needed in the calendar and budget for each public so this critical
process is not overlooked.

EVALUATION
FLASH CARDS
Embedding Evaluative Thinking
in Organizational Culture
Developed by Michael Quinn Patton
Utilization-Focused Evaluation
St. Paul, Minnesota
Updated March 2017
CONTENTS
01.
Evaluative Thinking
INTRODUCING THE EVALUATION FLASH CARDS
02.
Evaluation Questions
03.
Logic Models
04.
Theory of Change
05.
Evaluation vs. Research
06.
Dosage
As part of our ongoing work to strengthen our support for communities,
the trustees and staff of the Otto Bremer Trust engaged in a series of learning
seminars on evaluation. In order to make the core concepts easily accessible
and retrievable, we asked Michael Quinn Patton, who led the seminars, to
create a set of basic reference cards. These became the Evaluation Flash
Cards presented here, with the idea that a core concept can be revisited
“in a flash.” Illustrations of the concepts are drawn from Otto Bremer Trust
grants. We hope this resource is useful to other organizations committed
to understanding and improving the results of the programs they support.
07.
Disaggregation
These cards are not intended to be definitive, universally applicable,
or exhaustive of possibilities.
08.
Changing Denominators,
Changing Rates
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
09.
SMART Goals
10.
Distinguishing Outcomes
From Indicators
11.
Performance Targets
12.
Qualitative Evaluation
13.
Triangulation Through
Mixed Methods
14.
Important and Rigorous
Claims of Effectiveness
15.
Accountability Evaluation
16.
Formative Evaluation
17.
Summative Evaluation
18.
Developmental Evaluation
19.
The IT Question
20.
Fidelity or Adaptation
21.
High-Quality Lessons Learned
22.
Evaluation Quality Standards
23.
Complete Evaluation Reporting
24.
Utilization-Focused Evaluation
25.
Distinguish Different Kinds
of Evidence
Michael Quinn Patton is an independent evaluation consultant with
40 years of experience conducting evaluations, training evaluators, and
writing about ways to make evaluation useful. He is former president of
the American Evaluation Association and recipient of both the Alva and
Gunnar Myrdal Award for outstanding contributions to evaluation use
and practice and the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for lifetime contributions
to evaluation theory, both from the American Evaluation Association.
The Society for Applied Sociology honored him with the Lester F. Ward
Award for outstanding contributions to applied sociology. He is the author
of six books on evaluation, including Essentials of Utilization-Focused
Evaluation (2012).
PERMISSION AND CITATION
The Otto Bremer Trust permits use of these Evaluation Flash
Cards for non‑commercial purposes, subject to full attribution
(see the suggested citation reference below). For permission to
use this material for commercial purposes, please contact the
Trust at 651‑227‑8036 or communications@ottobremer.org.
Citation reference: Patton, Michael Quinn (2014).
Evaluation Flash Cards: Embedding Evaluative Thinking
in Organizational Culture.
St. Paul, MN: Otto Bremer Trust, ottobremer.org.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/deed.en_US
1
EVALUATIVE THINKING
DISTINGUISH EVALUATIVE THINKING FROM EVALUATION.
Evaluation is activity. Evaluative thinking is a way of doing business.
Evaluative thinking is systematic results-oriented thinking about:
—— What results are expected,
—— How results can be achieved,
—— What evidence is needed to inform future actions and judgments, and
—— How results can be improved in the future.
Evaluative thinking becomes most meaningful when
it is embedded in an organization’s culture. This means
that people in the organization expect to engage with
each other in clarifying key concepts, differentiating
means and ends, thinking in terms of outcomes,
examining the quality of evidence available about
effectiveness, and supporting their opinions and
judgments with evidence.
Evaluative thinking is what characterizes learning
organizations. Keeping up with research and evaluation
findings becomes part of everyone’s job. Inquiring
into the empirical basis for assertions about what
works and doesn’t work becomes standard operating
procedure as people in the organization engage with
each other and interact with partners and others outside
the organization. Critical thinking and reflection are
valued and reinforced.
Infusing evaluative thinking into organizational culture
involves looking at how decision makers and staff
incorporate evaluative inquiry into everything they
do as part of ongoing attention to mission fulfillment
and continuous improvement. Integrating evaluation
into organizational culture means “mainstreaming
evaluation”—that is, making it central to the work
rather than merely an add-on, end-of-project
paperwork mandate.
INDICATORS THAT EVALUATIVE THINKING IS EMBEDDED IN AN ORGANIZATION’S CULTURE
—— Evaluative thinking permeates the work, with conscious and constant reflection on project, program, regional,
and organizational experience and the intention to implement improvements based on what is learned.
—— Evaluative thinking is demonstrated in the implementation of well-focused programs and in the use of highquality evaluations that feed into program and organizational decision making.
—— Time and resources are allocated for reflection on evaluation findings and using those findings.
The antithesis of evaluative thinking is treating evaluation as a check-it-off compliance activity.
EVALUATIVE THINKING EMBEDDED AND
VALUED AS A WAY OF DOING BUSINESS
EVALUATION AS A COMPLIANCE ACTIVITY
Thinking about what kinds of information are most
needed for learning and improvement.
Focusing on evaluation contract requirements
and procedures.
Reflecting together on evaluation findings, learning
lessons, and applying them in future decisions.
Checking off that evaluation reports have been
submitted and filed.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Pay attention to how, and how much, evaluative thinking is manifest, embedded, and valued.
BOTTOM LINE
Practice evaluative thinking. Like any important skill, evaluative thinking improves with practice
and reinforcement.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
2
EVALUATION QUESTIONS
BEGIN WITH BASIC DESCRIPTION.
Evaluation supports reality testing — finding out what is actually going on in
a program. This can then be compared to what was intended and hoped for.
But the first step is basically descriptive.
I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.
— Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936), The Elephant’s Child
For professionals as diverse as journalists, police
detectives, lawyers, and evaluators, Kipling’s five Ws
and one H is the formula for full understanding and
a complete report. These are descriptive, factual, and
open-ended questions. None can be answered “yes” or
“no.” You have to find out what happened. When first
entering a program situation (for example, on a site visit),
it can be helpful to begin with some basic facts to get the
lay of the land. Keep it simple: Who’s proposing to do
what? Where? When? How? Why?
EXAMPLE: A JOB-TRAINING PROGRAM
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
PARALLEL EVALUATION QUESTIONS
Who: The target population is chronically
unemployed people of color. The staff consists of
“coaches” and trainers selected for their capacity
to work with this population.
Who does the program actually serve? How does
the actual population served compare to the
targeted population?
What: Train participants in both “soft skills” and
“hard skills” to get living-wage jobs with benefits
in companies the program has cultivated.
What training do participants actually receive? How
does the training received compare to the proposed
training? What do companies report about the skills
of participants hired?
Where: The main program operates in two
local offices.
How does the location of the program affect its
operation? Strengths and weaknesses of location?
How: The program uses an “empowerment
curriculum” that engages participants in being
accountable, responsible, and successful. Building
on empowerment, the program offers skill training
matched to the needs and interests of participants
and job needs of companies.
How does the curriculum work in practice? What
are participants’ reactions? What is evidence of
“empowerment,” of acquisition of “soft” and “hard”
skills, and of alignment between companies’ needs
and program participants’ skills?
Why: Evaluation of successful employment
programs shows that the combination of positive
attitudes, appropriate behaviors for the workplace,
and training in skills needed by companies leads
to successful outcomes.
To what extent does the program reproduce the
results documented in previous evaluations? How do
the results of this program compare to other models?
When: Participants are generally in the program for
18 months to 2 years. The intended outcome is retention
of a living-wage job with benefits for at least one year.
To what extent is the intended outcome
actually attained?
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Use the full set of descriptive questions to get a comprehensive picture of what’s being proposed.
BOTTOM LINE
Ground evaluation in basic descriptive questions.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
3
LOGIC MODELS
MODELS CAN BE DISPLAYED AS A SERIES OF LOGICAL AND SEQUENTIAL CONNECTIONS.
EACH STEP IN A LOGIC MODEL CAN BE EVALUATED.
A logic model is a way of depicting the program intervention by specifying inputs,
activities, outputs, outcomes, and impacts in a sequential series.
EXPLANATIONS OF SOME OF THE TERMS USED IN LOGIC MODELS
—— Inputs are resources like funding, qualified staff, participants ready to engage in the program, a place to hold
the program, and basic materials to conduct the program. These inputs, at an adequate level, are necessary
precursors to the program’s activities.
—— Participating in program activities and processes logically precedes outputs, like completing the program or
getting a certificate of achievement.
—— Outputs lead to short-term participant outcomes, like a better job or improved health.
—— Short-term outcomes lead to longer-term impacts, like a more prosperous or healthy community.
INPUTS/
RESOURCES
ACTIVITIES/
PROCESSES
OUTPUTS/
PRODUCTS
SHORT-TERM
OUTCOMES
LONG-TERM
IMPACT
Logic models are one way of answering the It question in evaluation. The logic model depicts what is being evaluated.
The primary criteria for judging a logic model are whether the linkages are logical and reasonable.
1. Are the inputs (resources) sufficient to deliver the proposed activities?
2. Will the proposed activities lead to the expected outputs?
3. Do the outputs lead logically and reasonably to the outcomes?
4. Will successful outcomes lead to desired impacts?
NOT LOGICAL AND REASONABLE
LOGICAL AND REASONABLE
Attending an after-school drop-in center will increase
school achievement.
Participating in an after-school drop-in center will
help keep kids out of trouble after school.
A safe house for victims of domestic abuse will lead
to jobs.
A safe house for domestic abuse victims will provide
support and stability to enable participants to figure
out next steps and get referrals for longer-term help.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Does the proposal include a logic model? If so, is it reasonable and logical? Do the steps make sense?
BOTTOM LINE
Is the proposed logic model sequence from inputs to impacts logical and reasonable?
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
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THEORY OF CHANGE
TESTING A THEORY OF CHANGE CAN BE AN IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTION OF EVALUATION.
A theory of change explains how to produce desired outcomes. It is explanatory.
A logic model just has to be sequential (inputs before activities, activities before
outcomes), logical, and reasonable. In contrast, a theory of change must explain
why the activities produce the outcomes.
EXAMPLE
A program to help homeless youth move from the streets to permanent housing proposes to:
1. Build trusting relationships with the homeless youth;
2. Work to help them feel that they can take control of their lives, instill hope, and help them plan
their own futures; and
3. Help them complete school, both for their economic well-being and to help them achieve
a sense of accomplishment.
This approach is based on resilience research and
theory. Resilience research and theory posits that
successful youth: (1) have at least one adult they trust
and can interact with, (2) have a sense of hope for the
future, (3) have something they feel good about that
they have accomplished, and (4) have at least some
sense of control over their lives.
The issue that arises in examining a proposal based
on a theory of change is whether the proposed
program activities constitute a practical and
reasonable implementation of the theory. Does the
program provide specific and concrete experiences that
reflect the theory of change? The key conceptual and realworld challenge is translating a theory of change into an
actual implemented program with real outcomes.
Evaluation of a program with an explicit theory
of change is sometimes called “theory-driven
evaluation” because the evaluation can be a test of the
theory. If the program fails to produce the predicted
outcomes, the critical interpretative and explanatory
issue becomes: Did the program fail because the
theory was inadequately implemented, or because
the theory itself was inadequate? This is the difference
between implementation failure versus theory failure,
a longstanding and important distinction in evaluation.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
How explicit and articulate is the program’s theory of change?
BOTTOM LINE
Can a program identify a theory of change based on research and, if so, can it demonstrate how it will
translate the theory into an actual program?
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
5
EVALUATION VS. RESEARCH
EVALUATION AND RESEARCH HAVE DIFFERENT PRIMARY PURPOSES, BUT THE
STATE OF RESEARCH KNOWLEDGE AFFECTS WHAT EVALUATION CAN CONTRIBUTE.
Evaluation generates improvements, judgments, and actionable learning about
programs. Research generates knowledge about how the world works and why it works
as it does.
Scientific research is undertaken to discover knowledge,
test theories, and generalize across time and space.
Program evaluation is undertaken to inform decisions,
clarify options, identify improvements, and provide
information about programs and policies within
contextual boundaries of time, place, values, and
politics. Research informs science. Useful evaluation
supports action.
Research informs evaluation in that the more knowledge
that exists about a problem, the more an evaluation can
draw on that knowledge. For example, research shows
that children immunized against polio do not get polio.
Therefore, evaluation of an immunization program can
stop at determining that children have been immunized
and confidently calculate how many cases of polio have
been prevented based on epidemiological research.
The evaluation design does not have to include followup to determine whether immunized children get polio.
That question has been settled by research.
A program aimed at getting senior citizens to exercise
to improve their health does not have to prove that
exercise improves health and contributes to a longer,
higher quality life. Health research has demonstrated
that. Evaluation of the exercise program, then, only has
to demonstrate that it is effective in getting seniors to
exercise at the levels shown by research to be effective.
In contrast, there is little research on homeless youth.
The knowledge gap is huge. So evaluation has to be more
developmental and exploratory because the research
foundation is weak.
RESEARCH
EVALUATION
Purpose is testing theory and producing
generalizable findings.
Purpose is to determine the effectiveness of a specific
program or model.
Questions originate with scholars in a discipline.
Questions originate with key stakeholders and
primary intended users of evaluation findings.
Quality and importance judged by peer review
in a discipline.
Quality and importance judged by those who will
use the findings to take action and make decisions.
Ultimate test of value is contribution to knowledge.
Ultimate test of value is usefulness to improve
­effectiveness.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Find out if research supports a program proposal. Have those submitting the proposal done their homework in finding
out and taking into account what research shows?
BOTTOM LINE
Distinguish research from evaluation. Use research to inform both program and evaluation designs.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
6
DOSAGE
DIFFERENT DEGREES OF INTERVENTION AND ENGAGEMENT PRODUCE DIFFERENT
LEVELS OF OUTCOMES.
Dosage effects refer to the fact that different people engage in and experience a program
with different degrees of intensity. A higher dose of engagement should be related to
higher-level outcomes.
EXAMPLE
A youth community center reports serving 300 kids each quarter.
QUESTION
What are different degrees of dosage for those 300 kids?
DATA
High dosage/high outcomes:
Thirty kids come to the center after school every day. They have important, ongoing relationships with staff. They
benefit greatly from the staff’s mentoring, homework help, personal support, and individualized problem solving.
Medium dosage/medium outcomes:
Fifty kids come to the center about once a week for a specific program, like a volunteer program that helps them
improve reading; they get some modest help on a specific outcome (reading).
Low dosage/minimal outcomes:
Another 220 kids come once a quarter for pizza night, or a Friday night dance. This is a source of recruiting
and connection to the community, but it is really outreach rather than “serving” those kids.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Explore how aware the program is of variations in dosage and the implications of those variations.
BOTTOM LINE
Watch for and understand dosage effects. All programs have them.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
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DISAGGREGATION
WHAT WORKS FOR WHOM IN WHAT WAYS WITH WHAT RESULTS?
Subgroups in programs have different experiences and different outcomes.
Disaggregation refers to distinguishing the experiences and outcomes of
different subgroups.
EXAMPLE
A program aims to prevent teenage pregnancies. The program typically reports aggregate results for all teens served
(ages 13–19). The reported success rate is 60 percent, which means that 60 percent of the teens do not get pregnant
during the year they are engaged in the program.
DISAGGREGATED DATA
—— Success rate for teens aged 16–19: 80 percent
—— Success rate for teens aged 13–15: 40 percent
LESSON
 he overall 60 percent success rate for all teens disguises the fact that the program is highly effective with older
T
teens and relatively ineffective with younger teens. Indeed, some outcomes are different. The program works to help
older teens maintain safe and supported independence but attempts to get younger teens integrated into a family,
either their own or a foster family. In reality, the two subgroups constitute different approaches with different results.
The disaggregated data can help decision makers target improvements to the subgroups for whom the program is
less effective—and learn from those that show higher levels of impact.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Explore the capacity of the program to disaggregate data for learning, management, and reporting.
BOTTOM LINE
When looking at overall results for a program, ask about the disaggregated results for important subgroups.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
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CHANGING DENOMINATORS, CHANGING RATES
DIFFERENT DENOMINATORS PRODUCE DIFFERENT RESULTS.
To understand and interpret data on rates and performance indicators, like the
participation rate in a program, the drop-out rate, or the completion rate, pay special
attention to the ­denominator.
EXAMPLE
A local job-training program reports a 40 percent drop-out rate. The denominator for this program’s rate is based on
the number who have completed the initial training and signed the program contract. Thus, the drop-out rate is NOT
based on the number who initially enroll in the program but rather the number who enroll and complete the course
and sign the contract. Half of the initial enrollees do not reach that stage.
ILLUSTRATIVE DATA 
1. Number who enter the program from January to June: 200
2. Number who complete course and sign contract: 100
3. Contract signing rate: 50 percent (100/200 = 50 percent)
4. Number who drop out before job placement: 40
5. Drop-out rate for contract signers is 40 percent (40/100 = 40 percent)
6. Drop-out rate for ALL enrollees is 70 percent (140/200 = 70 percent)
7. Program completion (placed in a job): 60
8. Completion rate of contract signers: 60 percent (60/100 = 60 percent)
9. Job retention one year after placement: 30 participants
10. Job retention rate: 50 percent (30/60 = 50 percent)
11. Job retention percentage of all participants who enroll: 15 percent (30/200 = 15 percent)
LESSON
Different rates have different denominators. Different denominators yield different rates. Programs define and
calculate drop-out and completion rates differently, which makes comparisons difficult.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Explore how the program computes key indicators like participation, completion, and drop-out rates.
BOTTOM LINE
Be clear about the denominator being used when rates are reported.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
9
SMART GOALS
NOT ALL GOALS ARE CREATED EQUAL.
Traditionally, evaluation has been synonymous with measuring goal attainment.
The most basic evaluation question is: To what extent is the program attaining its
goals? To evaluate goal attainment, goals have to be clear enough to permit evaluation.
A CLEAR GOAL HAS FIVE DIMENSIONS,
WHICH FORM THE ACRONYM SMART:
Specific
EXAMPLES
Weak goal:
Achievable
Improve quality of life. This goal is vague and general
(not specific). What is meant by quality of life?
How would it be ­measured? What’s the timeframe?
Relevant
SMART goal:
Time bound
Graduates will get a job paying a living wage with benefits
and keep the job for at least a year.
Measurable
—— The outcome is specific
(get and keep a certain kind of job)
—— The goal is measurable
(living-wage job with benefits)
—— The goal is achievable
(the level of aspiration is reasonable)
—— The outcome is relevant
(the goal is aimed at the chronically unemployed;
getting and keeping a living-wage job is relevant to
both participants and society)
—— The goal is time bound
(keep the job at least one year)
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
When reviewing goals, examine if they are SMART.
BOTTOM LINE
Goal statements vary tremendously. Not all are SMART.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
10
DISTINGUISHING OUTCOMES FROM INDICATORS
EVALUATION DEPENDS ON IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS. ONE SUCH D
­ ISTINCTION
IS OUTCOMES VS. INDICATORS.
An outcome is a clear statement of the targeted change.
An indicator is a measurement of the outcome.
EXAMPLES OF TYPES
OF OUTCOMES
ILLUSTRATIVE INDICATORS
Change in circumstances
Number of children in foster care who are safely reunited with their families
of origin
Change in status
Number of unemployed who become employed
Change in behavior
Number of former truants who regularly attend school
Change in functioning
Measures of increased self-care among nursing home residents
Change in attitude
Score on an instrument that measures self-esteem
Change in knowledge
Score on an instrument that measures understanding of the needs
and capabilities of children at different ages
An indicator is just that, an indicator. It’s not the same
as the desired outcome, but only an indicator of that
outcome. A score on a reading test is an indicator of
reading capability but should not be confused with a
particular person’s true capacity to read. Many kinds of
things affect a test score on a given day. Thus, indicators
are inevitably approximations. They are imperfect and
vary in validity and reliability.
Figuring out how to measure a desired outcome is called
operationalizing the outcome. The resources available
for measurement will greatly affect the kinds of data
that can be collected for indicators. For example, if the
desired outcome for abused children is no subsequent
abuse or neglect, regular in-home visits and observations,
including interviews with the child, parent(s), and
knowledgeable others, would be desirable, but such data
collection is expensive. With constrained resources,
one may have to rely on data collected ­routinely by
government through mandated reporting—that is,
official, substantiated reports of abuse and neglect over
time. Moreover, when using such routine data, privacy
and confidentiality restrictions may limit the indicator to
aggregate results quarter by quarter rather than one that
tracks specific families over time.
Another factor affecting indicator selection is the
demands data collection will put on program staff
and participants. Short-term interventions such as
food shelves, recreational activities for people with
developmental disabilities, drop-in centers, and one-time
community events do not typically engage participants
with a high enough dosage level to justify collection of
sophisticated data. Many programs can barely collect
data on end-of-program status, much less follow-up data
six months after program participation. Programs may
need to develop the capacity to measure outcomes.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Examine the clarity of proposed outcomes and the meaningfulness of indicators.
BOTTOM LINE
Outcomes are the desired results; indicators are how you know about outcomes. The key is to make sure that
the indicator is a reasonable, useful, and meaningful measure of the intended participant outcome.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
11
PERFORMANCE TARGETS
WHAT’S THE BULL’S-EYE?
A performance target specifies the level of outcome that is hoped for, expected,
or intended.
What percentage of participants in employment training
will have full-time jobs six months after graduation?
40 percent? 65 percent? 80 percent? What percentage
of fathers failing to make child support payments will
be meeting their full child support obligations within
six months of intervention? 15 percent? 35 percent?
60 percent?
Setting performance targets should be based
on data about what is possible. The best basis for
establishing future performance targets is past
performance. “Last year we had 65 percent success.
Next year we aim for 70 percent.” Lacking data on
past performance, it may be advisable to wait until
baseline data has been gathered before specifying a
performance target. Arbitrarily setting performance
targets without some empirical baseline may create
artificial expectations that turn out unrealistically high
or embarrassingly low. One way to avoid arbitrariness is
to seek norms for reasonable levels of attainment from
other, comparable programs, or review the evaluation
literature for parallels. Just making up arbitrary or
ambitious performance targets is not very useful.
SEPARATE GOALS FROM INDICATORS AND PERFORMANCE TARGETS.
—— Desired outcome: All children will be immunized against polio.
—— Indicator: Health records when children enter school show whether they have been vaccinated.
—— Performance target: Children receive four doses of IPV: a dose at 2 months, at 4 months, and at 6–18 months;
and a booster dose at 4–6 years.
As indicators are collected and examined over time, it becomes more meaningful and useful to set
performance targets.
EXAMPLE
Consider this outcome statement: Student achievement test scores in reading will increase one grade level
from the beginning of first grade to the beginning of second grade.
Such a statement mixes together and potentially confuses the (1) specification of a desired outcome (better
reading) with (2) its measurement (achievement test scores) and (3) the desired performance target (one grade
level improvement).
Specifying the desired outcome, selecting indicators, and setting targets are separate decisions. They are related,
of course, but each should be examined on its own merits. For example, there are ways other than standardized
tests for measuring achievement, like student portfolios or competency-based tests. The desired outcome should
not be confused with its indicator.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Examine the appropriateness and basis of performance indicators.
BOTTOM LINE
The challenge is to make performance targets realistic, meaningful, and useful.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
12
QUALITATIVE EVALUATION
QUALITATIVE DATA COMES FROM OPEN-ENDED INTERVIEWS, ON-SITE O
­ BSERVATIONS,
FIELDWORK, SITE VISITS, AND DOCUMENT ANALYSIS.
Qualitative evaluation uses case studies, systematically collected stories, and indepth descriptions of processes and outcomes to generate insights into what program
participants experience and what difference those experiences make.
Suppose you want to evaluate learning to read. If you
want to know how well children can read, give them
a reading test (quantitative data). If you want to know
what reading means to them, you have to talk with them
(qualitative data). Qualitative questions aim at getting
an in-depth, individualized, and contextually sensitive
understanding of reading for each child interviewed. Of
course, the actual questions asked are adapted for the
child’s age, language skills, school and family situation,
and purpose of the evaluation. But regardless of the
precise wording and sequence of questions, the purpose
is to hear children talk about reading in their own words;
find out about their reading behaviors, attitudes, and
experiences; and get them to tell stories that illuminate
what reading means to them. You might talk to groups
of kids about reading as a basis for developing more indepth, personalized questions for individual interviews.
While doing field work (actually visiting schools and
classrooms), you would observe children reading and
the interactions between teachers and children around
reading. You would also observe what books and reading
materials are in a classroom and observe how they are
arranged, handled, and used. In a comprehensive inquiry,
you would also interview teachers and parents to get their
perspective on the meaning and practice of reading, both
for children and for themselves, as models children are
likely to emulate.
EXAMPLES OF QUALITATIVE EVALUATION
QUALITATIVE DATA COLLECTED,
SYNTHESIZED, AND ­REPORTED
Evaluate the principles that guide work with homeless
youth, both to improve effective use of principles and
find out the impacts on youth.
Case studies of diverse homeless youth using shelters
and youth programs; in-depth interviews with youth,
street workers, and shelter or program staff; review
of files; focus groups with youth to understand their
perspectives and experiences.
Evaluate the role of community colleges in rural
communities.
Interview community college teachers, students,
and administrators about their experiences and
perspectives; interview key community people
and leaders; do case studies of successful students
compared to drop-outs.
Evaluate a community leadership program.
Interviews with program participants about the
leadership training, then follow-up community case
studies to find out what they do with the training.
Evaluate a drop-in center for inner-city
Native American youth.
Work with Native American leaders to develop
culturally appropriate questions. Observe. Interview.
Report patterns.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Develop skills in open-ended interviewing and systematic site visit observations—emphasis on being skilled
and systematic. Document what you see and hear. Analyze and synthesize qualitatively.
BOTTOM LINE
Qualitative evaluation captures and communicates the perspectives, experiences, and stories of people
in programs to understand program processes and outcomes from their viewpoint.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
13
TRIANGULATION THROUGH MIXED METHODS
ANY SINGLE SOURCE OF DATA, LIKE INTERVIEWS, FOCUS GROUPS, OR SURVEYS,
HAS BOTH STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES.
Using multiple methods increases confidence in overlapping patterns and findings.
Checking for consistency across different data sources is called triangulation.
The term triangulation is taken from land surveying.
Knowing a single landmark only locates you somewhere
along a line in a direction from the landmark, whereas
with two landmarks you can take bearings in two
directions and locate yourself at their intersection.
The notion of triangulating also works metaphorically
to call to mind the world’s strongest geometric shape—
the triangle.
The logic of triangulation is based on the premise
that no single method ever adequately solves the
problem of interpreting how much the weakness
of any particular method may give a false or
inadequate result. Because different kinds of data
reveal different aspects of a program, multiple
methods of data collection and analysis provide
more grist for the interpretation mill. Combinations
of interviewing, observation, surveys, performance
indicators, program records, and document analysis
can strengthen evaluation. Studies that use only
one method are more vulnerable to errors.
COMBINING QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DATA
Statistics tell us about the size or scope of an issue, like the number of homeless youth, how many rural people lack
access to quality dental care, or whether the number of children in poverty is increasing or decreasing.
Qualitative data tells us what the numbers mean through the perceptions of program participants and staff. Openended interviews with program participants, case studies, and site visits provide insights into how to interpret and
make sense of the numbers. Stories also put faces on the numbers and humanize statistics so that we never forget
that behind the numbers are real people living their lives.
Strong evaluations include both quantitative and qualitative data. Triangulating across statistics and stories make
each data source more valuable, meaningful, and credible.
EXAMPLE
A site visit to a housing development turned up statistics on residents’ characteristics, diversity, and income levels
as well as the needs people expressed and stories about living in the housing development. Staff learned that to live
in this development “you need to work, be in school, or have formal volunteering occurring.” An evaluation going
forward might inquire how this policy works in practice. Statistics would reveal patterns of work, school attendance,
volunteering, and resident turnover. Open-ended interviews would find out how residents and staff experience these
policies—the attitudes, knowledge, behaviors, and feelings that affect the desired outcome of building a vibrant
residential community.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
When reviewing a proposal or conducting a site visit, look for both numbers and stories, and examine the consistency
or conflicts between these different data sources.
BOTTOM LINE
The evaluation ideal is: No numbers without stories; no stories without numbers. Learn what each kind of data
reveals and teaches, and how to use them together: triangulating.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
NOT ALL FINDINGS ARE THE SAME. WHAT’S WORTH PAYING ATTENTION TO? WHAT MATTERS MOST?
The most powerful, useful, and credible claims are those that are of major importance
and have strong empirical support. Claims can be important or unimportant, and the
evidence for the claims can be strong or weak. The ideal is strong evidence supporting
claims of major importance.
Example of an effectiveness claim: Programs serving homeless youth are contributing significantly to reducing
youth homelessness in the Twin Cities.
CHARACTERISTICS OF CLAIMS OF MAJOR
IMPORTANCE
—— Involve making a difference, having an impact,
or achieving desirable outcomes
—— Deal with a problem of great societal concern
—— Affect a relatively large number of people
—— Provide a sustainable solution (something that
lasts over time)
—— Save money and/or time — that is, accomplish
something with less money and in less time
than is usually the case (an efficiency claim)
—— Enhance quality
—— Claim to be new or innovative
—— Show that something can actually be done about
a problem—that is, claim the problem is malleable
—— Involve a model or approach that could be used by
­others (meaning the model or approach is clearly
specified and adaptable to other situations)
CHARACTERISTICS OF STRONG CLAIMS
—— Provide valid, believable evidence in support
—— Include data from multiple points in time (longer
periods of follow-up provide stronger evidence of
sustained change)
—— Are about a clear intervention (model or approach)
with solid implementation data
—— Clearly specify outcomes and impacts (behavior
outcomes are stronger than opinions, feelings,
and knowledge)
—— Include comparisons and/or replications
in the e
­ vidence
—— Are based on more than one kind of evidence
or data (i.e., triangulation of data):
— Quantitative and qualitative data
— Multiple sources (e.g., youth, parents,
teachers, and staff corroborate results).
IMPORTANCE OF CLAIMS
MAJOR
RIGOR OF
CLAIMS
14
IMPORTANT AND RIGOROUS CLAIMS
OF ­EFFECTIVENESS

STRONG
MINOR

WEAK
GOAL: STRONG CLAIMS OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
If the project is successful, what kinds of claims will be made?
BOTTOM LINE
Review claims, carefully examining the importance of the claim and the strength of the evidence.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
15
ACCOUNTABILITY EVALUATION
DIFFERENT TYPES OF EVALUATION SERVE DIFFERENT PURPOSES.
Accountability-focused evaluation determines whether funds were expended
appropriately to accomplish intended results.
ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONS
—— Are funds being used for intended purposes?
—— Are goals and targets being met?
—— Are resources being efficiently allocated?
—— Are problems being handled?
—— Are staff qualified?
—— Are only eligible participants being accepted into the program?
—— Is implementation following the approved plan?
—— Are quality control mechanisms in place and being used?
Answers to these questions determine whether resources are well managed, being used for approved purposes,
and efficiently attaining desired results.
EXAMPLES
ACCOUNTABILITY EVALUATION QUESTIONS
A job-training program provides comprehensive job
training to low-income adults.
—— How many low-income adults received training?
A dental services provider delivers affordable dental
services to low-income children and expectant mothers
in North Dakota.
—— What training was provided?
—— How many low-income children and expectant
mothers are served?
—— What services are provided with what results?
—— Were funds used as approved?
A local community college seeks to build capacity and
increase organizational effectiveness by purchasing
a database to be shared by area community colleges.
—— Was the database purchased?
—— Is it being used by area community colleges?
—— Has organizational effectiveness increased?
The utility of an accountability system depends on who is held accountable, by whom, for what. Accountability is
most meaningful when those held accountable actually have the capacity to achieve the things for which they are
held accountable, within the timeframes expected.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Find out how the program is currently thinking about and dealing with accountability issues.
BOTTOM LINE
Accountability requires clarity about who is accountable to whom for what.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
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FORMATIVE EVALUATION
DIFFERENT TYPES OF EVALUATION SERVE DIFFERENT PURPOSES.
Formative evaluation supports program improvement. The emphasis is on forming,
shaping, and improving, thus the term formative.
FORMATIVE EVALUATION QUESTIONS
—— What works and what doesn’t?
—— What are the program’s strengths and weaknesses?
—— W hat’s the feedback from participants in the program about what should be improved?
—— How do different subgroups respond—that is, what works for whom in what ways and under what conditions?
(If one size doesn’t fit all, how can the needs of different people be met?)
—— How can outcomes and impacts be increased?
—— How can costs be reduced?
—— How can quality be enhanced?
The emphasis in these formative questions is on improvement.
EXAMPLES
FORMATIVE EVALUATION QUESTIONS
A local program provides job training for lowincome adults.
—— What are the program’s strengths and
weaknesses from the perspective of participants?
—— What can be improved?
A local program aims to help victims of domestic
violence get jobs and improve their lives.
—— How can links to partners for referral services
be strengthened?
A local organization offers a program to empower those
in poverty and limited by poor education.
—— Across the variety of services offered, which ones
are working well and which need improvement?
—— In the empowerment gatherings, what works for
whom in what ways, with what outcomes? What
can be learned from feedback to improve the
empowerment gatherings?
The utility of formative evaluation depends on a willingness to distinguish strengths from weaknesses and
acknowledge what needs improvement. Grantees often fear reporting weaknesses or problems to funders.
Formative evaluation requires mutual trust and a shared commitment to learning, improving, and getting better.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Find out how the project or program will attend to learning and improvement.
BOTTOM LINE
Formative evaluation requires openness to learning and a commitment to ongoing improvement.
Funders contribute to mutual trust by valuing learning and supporting honest communication about
what’s working and what needs improvement.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
17
SUMMATIVE EVALUATION
DIFFERENT TYPES OF EVALUATION SERVE DIFFERENT PURPOSES.
Summative evaluation judges the overall merit, worth, and significance of a project.
The term summative connotes a summit (important) or summing-up judgment.
The focus is on judging whether a model is effective. Summative evaluation is used to inform decisions about whether
to expand a model, replicate it elsewhere, and/or “take it to scale” (make it a statewide, region-wide, or national model).
SUMMATIVE EVALUATION QUESTIONS
—— Does the program meet participants’ needs effectively and efficiently?
—— Is the model well specified and standardized so that the resources needed, services delivered,
and outcomes attained are clear?
—— W hat are the key factors that support success? What key contextual factors affect outcomes?
—— To what extent can outcomes be attributed to the intervention? Is the program theory clear?
—— Does the evidence support the theory?
—— How do outcomes and costs compare to other options? Is the model cost-effective?
—— What unanticipated outcomes have been found? With what implications?
—— Is the model ready for prime time? Is it ready for replication in other places?
The emphasis in these summative questions is on testing and validating a model. Summative evaluation
serves to inform major decisions about the value of a model for future dissemination.
EXAMPLES
SUMMATIVE EVALUATION QUESTIONS
A local job-training program aspires to be
a model program for moving chronically
unemployed people of color into living-wage
jobs with benefits in high-quality companies
that offer career opportunities.
—— What are the critical elements of the model?
—— What are the program’s employment outcomes?
Can these be attributed to the program?
—— What are the costs per participant?
—— Has the model been sufficiently implemented and
evaluated to recommend it to others for replication?
A local micro-lending program provides
$1,000 grants to meet emergency or critical
needs of low-income participants in a variety
of partner agencies. It wants to expand
throughout the region.
—— What exactly is this model? How does it work? With
what outcomes?
—— What niche does the model fill? Does it meet an important
enough need to merit expansion to other communities?
The utility of summative evaluation is the focus on informing major decisions about a model’s effectiveness and,
therefore, its relevance and dissemination to other communities.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
Find out if the project or program aspires to be a replicable model.
BOTTOM LINE
Summative evaluation requires rigorous evidence because the stakes are high. The evaluation data must
be high quality and credible to external stakeholders interested in the model.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
18
DEVELOPMENTAL EVALUATION
DIFFERENT TYPES OF EVALUATION SERVE DIFFERENT PURPOSES.
Developmental evaluation supports innovation and development, especially
in complex and dynamic situations.
Accountability evaluation, formative evaluation, and summative evaluation all depend on there being a program
or model to evaluate. Developmental evaluation is relevant when the program or model is still being created and
those involved are figuring out what they want to do and how to do it. Thus, developmental evaluation helps people
developing new initiatives to get ongoing, real-time feedback about what is emerging and its implications for
making a difference.
EXAMPLE
A collaboration to support homeless youth involves several organizations, each with its own projects and evaluations.
As individual agencies, they are engaged in accountability reporting and formative evaluation to increase
effectiveness. But the overall collaborative initiative is just beginning to be created as the organizations work together.
This is a new development. As they collaborate on both programming for homeless youth and overall initiative-level
evaluation, they are creating new ways of working together and developing new possibilities for greater impact.
Developmental evaluation supports that generative and collaborative process as it unfolds.
KEY DEVELOPMENTAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS
—— What is being developed? With what implications?
—— Given where we (the collaborative group members) are now, what are the next steps?
—— What’s happening in the larger community context that affects how we work together and what we do together?
(This involves attention to the political, economic, social, and cultural context and implications of what is
being developed.)
The emphasis in these evaluation questions is on what is being developed and understanding the context within
which adaptation and development are occurring.
EXAMPLE
DEVELOPMENTAL EVALUATION QUESTIONS
A local program is developing a new empowerment and
job-training program to serve the transition needs of
men of color coming out of prison.
—— W hat issues are emerging as the program is
being ­developed?
—— How is the program adapting to the challenges
of this population?
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
To what extent is the proposed project innovative and/or operating in a turbulent environment? How does the p
­ roject
prepare to use evaluation to support adaptation and development?
BOTTOM LINE
Developmental evaluation supports innovative development. It fills a specific evaluation niche.
BOTTOM LINE ON DIFFERENT TYPES OF EVALUATION
Evaluations can serve diverse purposes, including accountability, program improvement, making
overall summative judgments and decisions, and supporting innovative development. Make sure the type
of evaluation matches the situation and is appropriate to the nature of the program.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
19
THE IT QUESTION
WHEN WE SAY “IT WORKS” OR “IT DOESN’T WORK,” WHAT’S THE IT?
The It is the program model being implemented—and evaluated.
EXAMPLES
—— A local job-training program has a structured curric­ulum that aims to create a positive attitude about
undertaking employment training and taking personal responsibility for success (not being a victim).
—— Habitat for Humanity has developed a model for how to engage volunteers and low-income people together
in building a home affordable to and owned by a low-income family.
—— ReStore is a model nonprofit retail outlet specializing in the resale of quality new and previously owned
building materials, home furnishings, and appliances at 50 to 75 percent below retail prices. The funds from
ReStore sales are used to support Habitat for Humanity.
Answering the It question has two parts:
1. What intervention is being undertaken to effect change?
2. What outcomes are expected from the intervention?
Examples of It hypothesis statements:
—— The job-training program expects the empowerment curriculum to change attitudes and behaviors
so that participants complete employment training and obtain and retain a living-wage job.
—— Habitat for Humanity expects its model to produce houses that low-income families own and maintain.
—— ReStore is a model of social entrepreneurship aimed at generating funds (operating at a “profit”) to help
support Habitat for Humanity programs.
Asking about the It means going beyond a program’s name or label to find out what it means and actually does.
Additional examples of models:
—— A nonprofit supports a rating and improvement system for early learning and child care providers.
The system is the It.
—— Boy Scouts of America runs a program that mentors, works to strengthen, and develops relationships
for at‑risk youth. The program is the It.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
—— What exactly is the model being proposed?
—— What outcomes is the model expected to produce?
—— What evidence will be generated about how the model works?
BOTTOM LINE
Be clear about the It (model) in a proposal. That’s what will be evaluated.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
20
FIDELITY OR ADAPTATION
DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO DISSEMINATING MODELS REQUIRE D
­ IFFERENT
EVALUATION APPROACHES.
Two opposing approaches to implementing a model have very different
evaluation implications.
The two approaches follow.
1. Fidelity-focused programming and evaluation means a national model is being implemented in a local
community and is supposed to be implemented exactly as prescribed in the national model. Fidelity-focused
program models provide best practices and standard operating procedures that amount to a recipe for success.
A McDonald’s Big Mac is supposed to be the same anywhere in the world.
Core evaluation questions:
—— Is the local model faithfully and rigorously implementing the standard model as specified?
—— Is the local model getting the results promised by the national model?
2. Adaptation-focused programming and evaluation means a national model offers principles and guidance,
but local implementation will be adapted to fit the local context. The Pew Children’s Dental Campaign is an
example of a national approach to bridging the gap between coverage and care that provides an overarching
framework for research and policy engagement, but it has to be adapted to a statewide context.
Core evaluation questions:
—— How is the national framework being adapted locally?
—— What are the implications of these adaptations for outcomes?
—— Is the local adaptation getting the results promised by the national model?
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
When funds are requested to implement a model being done elsewhere, find out whether implementation is
expected to be fidelity-focused or adaptive in nature.
High fidelity will typically require capacity development and technical support from those who have developed
and implemented the model elsewhere. This usually includes already-developed evaluation instruments and tools.
Adaptation will typically require astute understanding of local context and capacity to articulate how the local
situation will influence the adaptive process and local outcomes.
BOTTOM LINE
Distinguish fidelity-focused proposals from adaptive-focused proposals. The implications for programming
and evaluation are substantial.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
21
HIGH-QUALITY LESSONS LEARNED
LESSONS CAN BE GENERATED FROM ALL KINDS OF EXPERIENCES AND DATA. HIGH-QUALITY
LESSONS ARE THOSE THAT ARE SUPPORTED BY DIVERSE TYPES OF EVIDENCE.
High-quality lessons are supported by multiple sources of information. Knowledge
confirmed from multiple sources increases confidence that a lesson is valid and can
be used to inform decisions and future actions.
A common problem when an idea becomes highly
popular — in this case the search for lessons learned — is
that the idea loses its substance and meaning. Anybody
who wants to glorify his or her opinion can proclaim it
a “lesson learned.” High-quality lessons, in contrast,
represent principles extrapolated from multiple sources
and cross-validated that inform future action. In essence,
high-quality lessons constitute validated, credible,
trustworthy, and actionable knowledge.
Places to look for potential lessons
1. Evaluation findings—patterns across programs
2. Basic and applied research findings
3. Cross-validation from multiple and mixed methods,
both quantitative and qualitative
4. Reflective practice wisdom based on the experiences
and insights of practitioners
5. Insights reported by program participants
6. Expert opinion
7. Cross-disciplinary findings and patterns
8. Theory as an explanation for the lesson
and its mechanism of impact
Assessment criteria for judging the quality of lessons
—— Importance of the lesson learned
—— Strength of the evidence connecting intervention
lessons to outcomes attainment
—— Consistency of findings across sources, methods,
and types of evidence
The idea is that the greater the number of supporting
sources for a “lesson learned,” the more rigorous the
supporting evidence; and the greater the cross-validation
from supporting sources, the more confidence one has in
the significance and meaningfulness of a lesson. Lessons
learned with only one type of supporting evidence
would be considered a “lessons learned hypothesis.”
Nested within and cross-referenced to lessons learned
should be the actual cases from which practice wisdom
and evaluation findings have been drawn. A critical
principle here is to maintain the contextual frame for
lessons learned—that is, to keep lessons grounded in
their context. For ongoing learning, the trick is to follow
future applications of lessons learned in new settings
to test their wisdom and relevance over time—and
adapt accordingly.
EXAMPLE
The importance of intervening in preschool years for healthy child development and later school success is supported
by numerous evaluations, basic research on child development, expert knowledge, practitioner wisdom, and child
development theory. In contrast, lessons about how to work effectively with troubled teenagers are weak in evidence,
theory, research, and number of evaluations.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
What lessons are program proposals based on? What are the sources of evidence supporting supposed lessons?
To what extent do similar lessons show up in different sites, proposals, and reports?
BOTTOM LINE
Distinguish opinions and single-source lessons from high-quality, cross-validated lessons. The former are
hypotheses. The latter constitute actionable knowledge.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
22
EVALUATION QUALITY STANDARDS
EVALUATION CAN AND SHOULD BE EVALUATED. SO WHAT’S A GOOD EVALUATION?
The evaluation profession has adopted standards that are criteria for what constitutes
a good evaluation.
A high-quality evaluation is:
—— Useful
—— Practical
—— Ethical
—— Accurate
—— Accountable
EXAMPLE
A foundation commissions an evaluation of focus work
on youth homelessness. The first phase of the evaluation
documents that:
—— the targeted number of new beds and services were
added to shelters; and
—— t he grantees collaborated to design an evaluation of
the critical factors that lead to permanent housing
and stability for homeless youth.
The grantees and foundation staff use the Phase 1
evaluation findings to develop a proposal for Phase 2.
The foundation’s trustees use the evaluation findings and
proposal based on the findings to inform (1) their decision
about whether to fund the next stage of the youth
homelessness work and (2) how to shape future work.
The findings are useful—and actually used—because
they are practical (concrete conclusions are reported
that can be applied to improve programs), ethical (data
was gathered in a way that showed respect for youth and
program staff serving youth), and accurate (the data is
meaningful and the findings are credible). The evaluation
was worth what it cost because it was used to improve the
work and inform future decision-making (accountability).
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
When a grantee submits evaluation data as part of
a proposal, a foundation program officer asks:
1. How do you use the evaluation findings? What
changes, improvements, or decisions have you
made based on evaluation findings?
2. What is the process for collecting evaluation data?
To what extent is the process practical, manageable,
and ­sustainable?
3. How do staff and program participants experience
the evaluation process? Do they find it meaningful
and ­respectful?
4. How is accuracy ensured in data collection? What
steps are taken to ensure that the evaluation findings
are ­credible?
5. B
 ased on your evaluation approach (and the answers
to the preceding questions), what do you consider to
be the strengths and weaknesses of your evaluation
process and findings?
Note: These questions are asked only when grantees have
made significant evaluation claims as part of the proposal.
BOTTOM LINE
Focus on evaluation use. Don’t let evaluation become just compliance reporting.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
23
COMPLETE EVALUATION REPORTING
THE ELEMENTS OF A COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION REPORT
What? What are the findings? What does the data say?
So what? What do the findings mean? Making interpretations and judgments.
Now what? Action implications and recommendations.
Four distinct processes are involved in making sense of evaluation findings:
1. Analysis involves organizing raw data into an
understandable form that reveals basic patterns
and constitutes the evaluation’s empirical findings,
thereby answering the what? question.
2. Interpretation involves determining the significance
of and explanations for the findings. This is Part One
of answering the so what? question.
3. Judgment brings values to bear to determine
merit, worth, and significance, including the
extent to which the results are positive or negative,
good or bad. This is Part Two of answering the
so what? question.
4. R
 ecommendations involve determining the action
implications of the findings. This means answering
the now what? question.
The graphic below depicts the inter-relationships among these four dimensions of evaluation sense making. The three
fundamental questions—What? So what? Now what?—are connected to the four evaluation processes of (1) analyzing
basic findings, (2) making interpretations, (3) rendering judgments, and (4) generating recommendations.
1
BASIC FINDINGS
WHAT
2
INTERPRETATIONS
SO WHAT?
3
JUDGMENTS
NOW WHAT?
4
RECOMMENDATIONS
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
To what extent does the proposal reflect evaluative thinking? If the program has past reports, do they reflect the
distinctions between what, so what, and now what?
BOTTOM LINE
When reviewing an evaluation report, watch for distinctions between basic findings, interpretations,
judgments, and recommendations—and the logical alignment and consistency among these elements.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
24
UTILIZATION-FOCUSED EVALUATION
MAKE ATTENTION TO USE THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND EVERY DECISION IN AN EVALUATION.
Utilization-focused evaluation begins with the premise that evaluations should
be judged by their utility and actual use. Therefore, evaluators should facilitate
the evaluation process and design an evaluation with careful consideration of
how everything that is done, from beginning to end, will affect use.
Use concerns how real people in the real world apply evaluation findings and experience the evaluation process.
Therefore, the focus in utilization-focused evaluation is on intended use by intended users.
—— Who is the evaluation for?
—— How is it intended to be used?
EXAMPLES OF DIFFERENT INTENDED USERS
WITH LIKELY DIFFERENT INFORMATION NEEDS
EXAMPLES OF DIFFERENT USES
OF EVALUATION
Program staff
Evaluation feedback to improve a program
(formative evaluation).
Program director
Summative evaluation findings to decide whether
to expand a model to new sites.
Government policymakers
Accountability evaluation to determine if funds were
spent appropriately as intended, or to determine
whether to invest in the program more broadly.
Utilization-focused evaluation does not advocate
any particular evaluation content, model, method,
theory, or even use. Rather, it is a process for helping
primary intended users select the most appropriate
content, model, methods, theory, and uses for their
particular situation. Situational responsiveness guides
the interactive process between evaluator and primary
intended users. This means that the interactions between
the evaluator and the primary intended users focus
on fitting the evaluation to the particular situation
with special sensitivity to context. A utilizationfocused evaluation can include any evaluative purpose
(formative, summative, developmental), any kind of data
(quantitative, qualitative, mixed), any kind of design
(e.g., naturalistic, experimental), and any kind of focus
(processes, outcomes, impacts, costs, and cost-benefit,
among many possibilities). Utilization-focused evaluation
is a process for making decisions about these issues in
collaboration with an identified group of primary users,
focusing on their intended uses of evaluation.
A psychology of use undergirds and informs utilizationfocused evaluation. Intended users are more likely to use
evaluation if they understand and feel ownership of the
evaluation process and findings. They are more likely to
understand and feel ownership if they have been actively
involved. By actively involving primary intended users,
the evaluator is training users in use, preparing the
groundwork for use, and reinforcing the intended utility
of the evaluation every step along the way.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
How utilization focused is the evaluation portion of a proposal? Is evaluation just compliance and reporting oriented,
or does there appear to be a commitment to making evaluation truly useful?
BOTTOM LINE
When reviewing an evaluation proposal or report, is it clear who is intended to use the evaluation
and for what purposes?
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
25
DISTINGUISH DIFFERENT KINDS OF EVIDENCE
EVIDENCE-BASED PROGRAMS
The label “evidence based” is widely used.
The question is: What does it mean, and what’s the evidence?
Evidence about program effectiveness involves systematically gathering and carefully analyzing data about
the extent to which observed outcomes can be attributed to a program’s interventions.
Evaluators distinguish three types of evidence-based programs:
1. Single-Summative. Rigorous and credible summative evaluation of a single program.
2. Meta-Analysis. Systematic “meta-analysis” (statistical aggregation) of the results of a group of programs
all implementing the same model in a high-fidelity, standardized, and replicable manner to determine
best practices.
3. Principles-Based. Synthesis of the results of a group of diverse programs all adhering to the same principles
but each adapting those principles to its own particular target population within its own context.
TYPE OF EVIDENCEBASED PROGRAM
EXAMPLES
EVALUATION FOCUS AND FINDINGS
Single program summative
A local job-training
­program.
Evidence of the model’s effectiveness for one particular
site: Extensive, systematic, multi-year monitoring
and evaluation data, including external summative
evaluation on job placement and retention outcomes,
will yield evidence-based conclusions about this
particular program.
Meta-analysis
Results of implementing
a standardized quality
improvement and rating
system for childcare
providers in multiple sites.
Evidence of effectiveness across multiple sites:
The quality-rating program is being implemented
as a standardized, prescribed model, applying the
same criteria and tool to all childcare providers.
Systematic aggregate statistical analysis of
standardized processes and outcomes will yield
evidence-based best practices.
Principles-based ­synthesis
Youth homelessness
work engaging
programs operated by
six organizations that
share common principles
and values but operate
independently.
Evidence of effective principles: Each program is
unique and provides different services but all work
from a common set of principles of engagement, even
though the implementation techniques built from
those principles might vary from program to program.
For example, “harm reduction” is a guiding principle.
A synthesis of findings from case studies of their
processes and outcomes will yield evidence-based
effective principles.
PROPOSAL REVIEW AND SITE VISIT IMPLICATIONS
When a program claims to be evidence based, inquire into the nature of the evidence and the type of evidence-based
program it aspires or claims to be.
BOTTOM LINE
Evidence-based programs must have evidence, but different kinds of evidence-based programs make
different claims. Beware simple opinions masquerading as evidence. Beliefs are beliefs. Beliefs about program
effectiveness must be evaluated to become an evidence-based program or model.
© 2017 Otto Bremer Trust
30 E. 7th St. Ste. 2900, St. Paul, MN 55101–2988
Main 651 227 8036 Toll-free 888 291 1123
OT TOBREMER.ORG
Module 11
Monitoring and Evaluation
CSR Campaigns Spring 2022
For more information,
contact me, Kellie Cummings
at: kcummings@jhu.edu or
post your questions to the
Syllabus/Assignment
Discussion.
AS.480.642.81
An Iterative Process
Iterate: (v) to perform or utter repeatedly.
2
An Iterative Process
“The Card Players”
Sketch and final
painting by Paul
Cezanne
3
4
Measurement and Evaluation
5
Criteria and Tools
6
Lush Cosmetics Example
OBJECTIVE
CRITERIA
TOOLS
OBJECTIVE #1
YOUTH
At least 30% more LGBT youth
understand the negative affects of
homelessness.
YOUTH
• Pre-, post-, and mid-campaign surveys with a
representative sample of 1,000 LGBT youth
contacted through True Colors social media
accounts and utilizing Influencers to engage
youth in the survey.
• Measure traffic to / and engagement with the
accounts that were created specifically for this
campaign.
• Track conversions from specialized campaign
accounts (demonstrated by youth who sign up to
learn more).
PARENTS
• Pre-, post-, and mid-campaign surveys with a
representative sample of 1,000 parents
contacted through Facebook parent groups.
Partner with the True Colors Fund
to raise awareness of LGBT youth
homelessness and its negative
impacts on individuals and families PARENTS
by 30% nationwide over a two-year At least 30% of parents understand
period.
the risk of LGBT youth
homelessness and its negative
impacts..
7
Social Media Measurement
8
Social Media Measurement
9
Your Homework
Describe your measurement and evaluation
approach for each objective.
At minimum, show alignment across your
objective, measurement criteria, and
measurement tool.
Note: The section following this slide presents additional measurement tools. These are not necessary for you to
earn a good grade on this project.
10
Additional Measurement Resource #1

Home


11
AMEC: Out-takes

Home


12
AMEC: Output

Home


13
AMEC: Outcomes

Home


14
AMEC: Impacts

Home


15
Additional Resource #2: Flash Cards
16
Additional Resource: Flash Cards
17
Additional Resource: Flash Cards
18
Your Homework
Describe your measurement and evaluation approach
for each objective.
At minimum, show alignment across your objective,
measurement criteria, and measurement tool.
Alternatively, you may follow the AMEC Integrated
Evaluation Framework.
19
Module 11
Monitoring and Evaluation
CSR Campaigns Spring 2022
For more information,
contact me, Kellie Cummings
at: kcummings@jhu.edu or
post your questions to the
Syllabus/Assignment
Discussion.
AS.480.642.81

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