Managing Evaluation - Responding to Common Problems with a 10-Step Process

This article, authored by Donald W. Compton and Michael Baizerman, outlines three common problems associated with managing program evaluations and goes on to provide a 10-step process to overcome these problems.


"There is now a clear choice of frameworks for managing program evaluation—the managing of one or more studies or the managing of an evaluation capacity building structure and process. This is a distinction with a difference, and this article conceptualizes that difference and shows how the two frameworks understand three problems common to program evaluation: (a) lack of systematic integration within a larger program improvement process, (b) difficulty in finding an appropriate evaluator, and (c) lack of appropriate conceptualization prior to the inception of the evaluation study. Two practice-based approaches to these problems are presented and interpreted using the two frameworks. These frameworks show clear distinctions and differences between the two managerial approaches.These are practice-tested approaches developed over 30 years of doing and managing evaluations in an evaluation unit in the United States, where there are seemingly clear differences with Canada in at least the public sector and in practices around stakeholder participation in relation to use practices. Our experience shows that program managers and managers of program evaluation services have clear choices in how they manage program evaluation in the public and nonprofit sectors across public health and other human services, and these choices have implications for organizational development, managing an evaluation unit, and interorganizational relations." (Compton & Baizerman, 2011)


Compton, D. W., & Baizerman, M. (2011). Managing evaluation: Responding to common problems with a 10-step process. The Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 25(2), 103 - 123. Retrieved from