About program evaluation

Program evaluation is the systematic process of assessing how well a program is meeting its goals. It is an essential source of the data your organization needs for mission-critical decision-making.


Benefits of effective program evaluation

  • Continuous improvement. Improves program effectiveness by providing accurate insight into program results against goals.
  • Accountability. Demonstrates effective use of resources to all stakeholders, including foundations and donors, which can make development efforts more successful and increase repeat funding.
  • Organizational efficiency. Evaluation process can increase integration and communication throughout the organization. Enables your organization to make better decisions and use resources more effectively.
  • Strategic planning. Produces data that can be used to activate your strategic plan, transforming it from a binder that sits on a shelf to a clear, detailed action plan.

    Program evaluation cycle

    Program Evaluation Cylcle

    We approach program evaluation as an ongoing cycle with the following phases:

    1. Assessment
    We'll start by assessing your program, your goals, and any evaluation activities that are already occurring.

    2. Design
    We'll work with you to determine how to approach this program evaluation.

    3. Data Collection
    Program generally includes multiple research methods, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, and other forms of measurement. We'll help you create a data collection system that is both meaningful and practical. A common pitfall in evaluation is committing to gather more data than is actually feasible to collect and analyze.

    4. Report and Analysis
    We analyze all data and synthesize it into a clear and usable report.

    5. Communications
    We determine what parts of the report need to be communicated to different audiences: your donors, participants, staff, and other stakeholders. It's important to craft communications that will resonate with each group

    If you’re interested in some evaluation humor, please take a moment to enjoy our holiday season evaluation themed cartoon: (pdf).

    "Working with Chari on our evaluation project has been so easy and efficient. We have many projects going on simultaneously and Chari is excellent at keeping the team focused on the task at hand.  She listens and applies ideas and thoughts to the process very quickly, Her flexibility, honesty and professionalism are top notch."

    Kristi Burns
    Program Director
    ONABEN: A Native American Business Network