What's this Evaluation Thingy?
Simply put, evaluation is a systematic process using scientific methods of inquiry to answer two main questions:
- Is [*insert program, product, or service name*] really delivering its intended and desired outcomes?
- What opportunities exist to improve [*insert program, product, or service name*]'s processes so that the intended and desired outcomes are more effectively achieved?
Although the primary questions that evaluation is used to answer seem simple enough, the process of evaluation is one messy son of a b****.
It is no surprise that many program designers, nonprofits, and product manufacturers, service creators can't objectively answer these questions.
Who Needs to Use Evaluation?
Evaluation is especially useful for nonprofit directors who are passionate about helping others through their social impact programs. Often times, the only way to get grants or funding is to show that your program works and is effective at creating some sort of positive value. Evaluation done by an outside consultant can help add legitimacy to your program and non-profit as well as identify opportunities to optimize the mechanisms and processes that drive its social impact .
Evaluation can also be really helpful to organizations building and designing mobile programs and applications geared towards helping others make some sort of behavior change (e.g. mindfulness program apps, exercise program apps, gratitude apps, etc.).
One aspect of an evaluation is creating a logic model of how program outcomes are linked to program processes or exercises, as well as how the enactment of these processes and the outcomes are measured. A lot of times, the linkages between these components, and especially how outcomes and targets of change are measured, are unclear. An evaluation can help clarify these things up and strengthen the impact of whatever it is you are building.
Past Examples of Evaluation Work
- Evaluation Design & Implementation of a 17-month long Community Leadership Development Program in the Inland Empire, CA
- Evaluation Design & Implementation of Long-term Mobile Wellness Program
- Evaluation Design for Coaching for Managers Workshop
- Evaluation Design for Team Creativity Workshop
- Evaluation Design for Web-based Coworker Appreciation & Gratitude Program