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  1. Design


    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.

  2. Engage and Frame


    Who will use evaluation findings?

    List the specific people, in a specific position, in a specific organization who will use the evaluation findings and who have the capacity to effect change. These are the people who you will want to engage from the beginning of the evaluation process and the people who will assist in framing the evaluation. This list of people will be specific to each evaluation situation that you are engaged in.

  3. Describe FAQ


    How do I identify existing data that might be useful?

    There are many sources of existing data that may be useful to you in your evaluation. Consider the following sources of information:

  4. Understand Causes FAQ


    How do I know if the program caused the results I can see?

    Most evaluations need to investigate what is causing the outcomes and impacts of an intervention (some process evaluations assume that certain activities are contributing to intended outcomes without investigating these).

  5. Synthesize and Value


    What are options for synthesising and valuing data in a single evaluation?

    Options for synthesizing and valuing data help you in your evaluative reasoning and judgement. It is important to make transparent your evaluative criteria. Developing a clear process and methodology for this evaluation component, Synthesis and Valuing, helps you develop defensible and evaluation conclusions. Agree on evaluation values with stakeholders early in the evaluation process.

  6. What should you do if randomization does not produce equivalent groups


    If randomization is used (randomly allocating participants or sites to one or more treatment groups and a control group), then the characteristics of the groups should be compared to check if randomization has in fact produced similar groups.

    If there is an imbalance between your two samples, you have several options: to re-run randomization (not recommended), or to include those “unbalanced” variables as controls in the final analysis.

  7. Are RCTs (Randomised Controlled Trials) a new approach in evaluation?


    There is a long history of using RCTs to inform public policy decisions, especially in health,  but it is only more recently that they have been used widely in development evaluation.

  8. Manage


    How do I select and manage an evaluator?

    You need a procurement process that will give you the best chance of finding the right evaluator:

  9. Report and Support Use


    What are options for reporting?

    Consider the different formats available for reporting. Depending on your audience, you may want to develop a number of different reports for each set of stakeholders. Work with your primary users to determine when and in what form they want to receive evaluation reports. Some organizations have prescribed formats for evaluation reports.

    Points to consider in choosing the format are:

  10. High-Level Questions


    How do I evaluate a policy?

    Agencies are increasingly engaging in advocacy and policy change efforts to achieve more systemic and lasting effect than direct service delivery. This type of work brings evaluation challenges. Evaluators need different skills, processes and options to evaluate policy than those developed in assessing direct services.

    There are a number of guides and papers that can assist in developing an evaluation strategy for policy and advocacy change.