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Section 1. A Framework for Program Evaluation: A Gateway to Tools

You understand the basic concepts and terms of program evaluation:

___You understand that evaluation is the systematic investigation of the merit, worth, or significance of an object or effort

___You understand that a program is used to describe the object or effort that is being evaluated

___You understand that program evaluation is a way to evaluate the specific projects and activities community groups may take part in

___You understand that stakeholders are those who care about the program or effort

You understand that program evaluation:

___Helps clarify program plans

___Improves communication among partners

___Gathers feedback needed to improve and be accountable for program effectiveness

You know how to evaluate a specific program:

___You know what will be evaluated

___You have decided what criteria will be used to judge program performance

___You have decided what standards of performance must be reached for the program to be considered successful

___You know what evidence will indicate performance

___You know what conclusions about program performance are justified based on the available evidence

___You have engaged stakeholders

___You have described the program

___You have focused the evaluation design

___You understand that possible focuses are: to gain insight, to improve how things get done, to determine what the effects of the program are, and to effect those who participate in it

___You have gathered credible evidence

___You have justified your conclusions

___You understand how to ensure the use of the information and share lessons learned

___You know that there are four categories of evaluation standards: utility, feasibility, propriety, and accuracy

___You understand the standards in each category

___You understand which standards are most applicable to each step of evaluation practice

When writing your evaluation report:

___Provide interim and final reports to intended users in time for intended uses

___Tailor the report content, format, and style for the audience(s) by involving audience members

___Include an executive summary

___Summarize the stakeholders and how they were engaged

___Describe essential features of the program (perhaps in appendices)

___Explain the focus of the evaluation and its limitations

___Include an adequate summary of the evaluation plan and procedures

___Provide all necessary technical information (perhaps in appendices)

___Specify the standards and criteria for evaluative judgments

___Explain the evaluative judgments and how they are supported by the evidence

___List both strengths and weaknesses of the evaluation

___Discuss recommendations for action along with their advantages and disadvantages

___Ensure protections for program clients and other stakeholders

___Anticipate how people or organizations may be affected by the findings

___Present minority opinions or rejoinders where necessary

___Verify that the report is accurate and unbiased

___Organize the report logically and include an appropriate level of detail

___Remove technical jargon

___Use examples, illustrations, graphics, and stories