The program manager's guide to evaluation

This comprehensive guide from the US Administration for Children and Families provides a step-by-step outline of the evaluation process from purpose to reporting.


"The manual is not intended to turn you into a professional evaluator or to suggest that evaluation is a simple process that anyone can perform. Rather, it is meant to provide information to help you understand each step of the evaluation process so that you can participate fully in the evaluation- whether you hire an outside evaluator or decide to do one with assistance from inhouse agency staff and resources."


  1. Why Evaluate Your Program? 1
  2. What Is Program Evaluation? 6
  3. Who Should Conduct Your Evaluation? 13
  4. How Do You Hire And Manage An Outside Evaluator? 19
  5. How Do You Prepare For An Evaluation? 29
  6. What Should You Include In An Evaluation Plan? 48
  7. How Do You Get The Information You Need For Your Evaluation? 63
  8. How Do You Make Sense Of Evaluation Information? 77
  9. How Can You Report What You Have Learned? 87
  10. Glossary 96
  11. Appendix: Evaluation Resources 102
  12. Evaluation Manuals And Guides 102
  13. Online Evaluation Toolkits 103
  14. Other Online Resources 103
  15. Clearinghouses And Organizations 105
  16. Locating Information Collection Instruments/Measures 107
  17. Evaluation Consultants 108
  18. Selected Bibliography 109


Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. (2010). The program manager’s guide to evaluation second edition. Retrieved from website:

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