Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I design an evaluation?

Many people skip immediately to considering data collection options when thinking about evaluation design. It is important that you begin by being clear about what the evaluation needs to do before choosing any option.

Begin by developing an evaluation brief that sets out why you are doing the evaluation, what it is about, and who it is for. Then you can develop an evaluation plan, which sets out how you will collect and analyze data, and how you will put it together in a reporting process.  

The BetterEvaluation evaluation planning template helps you plan your evaluation design by providing prompt questions for each evaluation component (listed below) and accompanying tasks.

  • Manage
  • Define
  • Engage and frame
  • Describe
  • Understand causes
  • Synthesize and value
  • Report and support use

For example, in the Manage component the evaluation planning template provides prompt questions to help you:

  • Decide the evaluation purpose
  • Decide who will control the evaluation
  • Decide who will conduct key evaluation tasks
  • Determine reporting requirements
  • Determine evaluation resources
  • Clarify ethical considerations
  • Clarify quality requirements

If you are planning to outsource the evaluation, you will need to develop an evaluation brief, which sets out the parameters of the evaluation. To develop an evaluation brief, work through the first three evaluation components (Manage, Design, Engage and Frame) in the evaluation planning template. This can form the basis of a Request for Proposal (RFP) to engage an external evaluator. 

For resources on designing an evaluation brief, see the following BetterEvaluation page.