The many faces of program evaluation

The many faces of program evaluation

Program evaluation can take many forms depending on the type of information that people are hoping to gather. As an internal evaluator at a large urban youth center, I evaluate each of our 50+ youth development programs. Each evaluation is a little different because different…

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Why I love program evaluation

Why I love program evaluation

There are so many wonderful things about program evaluation. Here are a few: Program evaluation helps everyday people make sense of numbers. Program evaluation helps the people who run programs understand the link between what they’re doing and what they hope to accomplish. This is one of…

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Most challenging parts of program evaluation

Most challenging parts of program evaluation

I *love* program evaluation, but we all have the occasional frustration. Here are the most challenging parts of program evaluation for me personally: Data quality issues – when that report is due to the funder within 12 hours, and you just found out about the…

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The accidental-on-purpose evaluator

The accidental-on-purpose evaluator

When I ask fellow evaluators about their career path, I’ve heard: “I stumbled into it.” “I kind of fell into it.” “I couldn’t stand research anymore.” “I wanted to do something useful.” “I wanted to influence policy decisions.” “I love math.” “I hate math. That’s…

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What do you tell non-evaluators about evaluation?

What do you tell non-evaluators about evaluation?

Here are some one-liners I’ve used: To teacher friends: I do behind-the-scenes administrative stuff like analyzing standardized test scores. I bet there’s someone at your school or in the district office with a similar job. To the real behind-the-scenes data analysts: I’m like a data coach. I…

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