This guide from Community Toolbox looks at why an evaluation plan is essential part of an evaluation. It provides guidance on developing the plan and clear examples and checklists that can be used to support its development. The guide also outlines a range of tools that can be used in the development and implementation of an evaluation plan.
"There's so much information on evaluation out there that it's easy for community groups to fall into the trap of just buying an evaluation handbook and following it to the letter. This might seem like the best way to go about it at first glance-- evaluation is a huge topic and it can be pretty intimidating. Unfortunately, if you resort to the "cookbook" approach to evaluation, you might find you end up collecting a lot of data that you analyze and then end up just filing it away, never to be seen or used again.
Instead, take a little time to think about what exactly you really want to know about the initiative. Your evaluation system should address simple questions that are important to your community, your staff, and (last but never least!) your funding partners. Try to think about financial and practical considerations when asking yourself what sort of questions you want answered. The best way to insure that you have the most productive evaluation possible is to come up with an evaluation plan."
Community Toolbox (2014). Developing an Evaluation Plan, Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. Retrieved from: http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/evaluate/evaluation/evaluation-plan/main