EERE Guide for Managing General Program Evaluation Studies

This guide from the US Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) provides detailed guidance on selecting and managing a program evaluation by using a  a step-by-step process from the planning stage right through to disseminating and applying results.


"General program evaluations include market needs assessments, process evaluations, retrospective outcome/impact assessments, and cost-benefit evaluations. These types of evaluation studies help managers like you determine if timely adjustments are needed in program design or implementation to improve the rate, or quality, of achievement relative to the committed resources. General program evaluations are in-depth studies of program performance and customer needs. They can be used to produce information about the linkage between program performance and resources and about how to improve performance." (EERE 2006)


  • Introduction 1
  • Purpose and Scope 3
  • Why Perform an Evaluation? 3
  • Guide Roadmap 6
  • Management Steps and Terminology 7
  • Steps in Planning and Managing a General Program Evaluation 7
  • Key Definitions and Terminology 9
  • Planning and Formulating an Evaluation 13
  • Deciding When to Perform a General Program Evaluation 13
  • Getting Started  14
  • Designing the Evaluation 21
  • Selecting an Evaluation Contractor 50
  • Management During the Evaluation 53
  • Disseminating and Applying the Results  57


Barnes, H. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) , (2006). EERE guide for managing general program evaluation studies. Retrieved from website:

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