To coincide with EvalPartners' e-learning unit on Utilization-Focused Evaluation (UFE), this week BetterEvaluation is highlighting the wide variety of resources that are available to those who'd like to learn more about this approach.
UFE has two essential elements. Firstly, the primary intended users of the evaluation must be clearly identified and personally engaged at the beginning of the evaluation process to ensure that their primary intended uses can be identified. Secondly, evaluators must ensure that these intended uses of the evaluation by the primary intended users guide all other decisions that are made about the evaluation process.
Rather than a focus on general and abstract users and uses, UFE is focused on real and specific users and uses. The evaluator’s job is not to make decisions independently of the intended users, but rather to facilitate decision making amongst the people who will use the findings of the evaluation.
You can sign up for EvalPartners’ free e-learning course, including the unit on Utilization-Focused Evaluation here.
To find out more about this approach you can visit BE's Utilization-Focused Evaluation page which provides a detailed outline of UFE plus links to a wide variety of guides and tools, some of which can be found below.
- Utilization-Focused Evaluation: 4th edition: this book from Michael Quinn Patton provides detailed advice for using UFE to conduct evaluation programs. It includes a range of activities and a specific UFE checklist to ensure a well-designed program evaluation takes place.
- Essentials of utilization-focused evaluation: a primer: Drawing on Michael Quinn Patton's best-selling Utilization-Focused Evaluation, this book provides an overall framework and essential checklist steps for designing and conducting evaluations that actually get used.
- Utilization-Focused Evaluation for Agricultural Innovation: This ILAC brief introduces UFE, outlines key steps in the evaluation process and provides specific examples.
- Utilization-Focused Evaluation (U-FE)Checklist: designed by Michael Quinn Patton in 2002 this is a comprehensive checklist for undertaking a utilization focused evaluation. It draws attention to the necessary tasks and associated challenges of conducting Utilization-Focused Evaluation (UFE).
- Reflections on the Utilization-Focused Evaluation (UFE) Process: This presentation from the Strengthening ICTD Research Capacity in Asia (SIRCA) provides an overview of how UFE was used in their SIRCA programme.
- Case Study: The Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF): This case study describes how the Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF) used UFE for a project with the Developing Evaluation Capacity in ICTD (DECI) programme.
If you are looking for descriptions and analysis by others who have used Utilization-Focused Evaluation (including presentations from the 2011 and 2012 conferences of the American Evaluation Association (AEA)), there are some great resources available through the AEA Public eLibrary. Here are just a few:
- Utilization Focused Evaluation Case Studies - UFE in Multijurisdictional/Tribal Contexts
- Quality Evaluation Template: How to Develop a Utilization Focused Evaluation System Incorporating QI and QA Systems
Using a Multi-Step Method for Managing Evaluation and ECB in Corporate Settings: Understanding Responsibilities, Building Relationships and Ensuring Org Relevance.