Evaluation Flash Cards

This guide, developed by Michael Quinn Patton for the Otto Bremer Foundation, supports evaluators and organisations get the most our of evaluations by introducing and elaborating on core evaluation concepts that can be accessed 'in a flash'. 


"The 25 “flash cards” help organizational leaders:

  • Understand what constitutes a good evaluation and appreciate the purposes and strengths of different types of evaluation
  • Create clear, ‘SMART’ program goals and meaningful performance targets
  • Understand what claims of effectiveness are worth paying attention to
  • Distinguish opinions and hypotheses from high-quality lessons that constitute actionable knowledge"


  • Evaluative Thinking
  • Evaluation Questions
  • Logic Models
  • Theory of Change
  • Evaluation vs. Research
  • Dosage
  • Disaggregation
  • Changing Denominators, Changing Rates
  • SMART Goals
  • Distinguishing Outcomes From Indicators
  • Performance Targets
  • Qualitative Evaluation
  • Triangulation Through Mixed Methods
  • Important and Rigorous Claims of Effectiveness
  • Accountability Evaluation
  • Formative Evaluation
  • Summative Evaluation
  • Developmental Evaluation
  • The IT Question
  • Fidelity or Adaptation
  • High-Quality Lessons Learned
  • Evaluation Quality Standards
  • Complete Evaluation Reporting
  • Utilization-Focused Evaluation
  • Distinguish Different Kinds of Evidence


Patton, M. Q., (2013). Evaluation Flash Cards, Otto Bremer Foundation. Retrieved from: http://www.ottobremer.org/news/ottoblog/april-16-2014/new-evaluation-resource-community-organizations-and-funders