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Program Evaluation

Competency 9: Design and conduct program evaluations

  1. Describe the significance of program evaluation
    1. List the reasons for evaluating a program (to determine program performance; to determine whether a program should continue, be discontinued, or changed; compare different programs or versions of a program, etc.)
    2. Define the different roles an evaluator can take (participatory, objective, advocate)
    3. Describe ethical issues in program evaluation and list the five key principles from the American Evaluation Association: systematic inquiry, competence, integrity/honesty, respect for people, and responsibilities for general and public welfare
  2. Formulate the question(s) the evaluation will answer
    1. Apply program theory and program objectives to form questions
    2. Recognize how to work with the organization’s decision makers to refine questions
    3. Recognize how the age of the program may influence results
    4. Develop plans for budget, staff and logistical needs
  3. Design the best evaluation for a particular program
    1. Distinguish when it is best to use an outcome evaluation, process (or implementation) evaluation or a combination of both
    2. Contrast the types of questions used in outcome and process evaluations
    3. Compare and contrast quantitative designs (“pre-experimental”, experimental, quasi-experimental)
    4. Identify external and internal validity threats present in each of the quantitative designs
    5. List the features of a qualitative design
  4. Conduct the evaluation
    1. Identify the target population
    2. Determine whether sampling should be random or non-random
    3. Select the sampling design and calculate sample size requirements
    4. Identify measures to be collected
    5. Assess reliability, validity and responsiveness of measures
    6. Determine appropriate data sources for each measure
    7. Prepare and execute a data collection plan
    8. Analyze evaluation data
  5. Disseminate results of the evaluation
    1. Translate results back into policy and develop recommendations
    2. Design a dissemination plan for policy recommendations