When planning your evaluation, it is very important to think about how the results will be used. In fact, there is a whole field of evaluation based on evaluation use! (Click here for more information.) This is because, if no one is going to use the data you're collecting, why collect it?
Accordingly, when planning an evaluation, you should always keep in mind how the data will be used. These are some questions to think about:
- What do you want to know about your program, and what do your external stakeholders want to know?
- If you're writing a survey, does each question have a clear purpose?
- Are your survey questions framed in a way that you're actually asking for the information you need/want?
- Who should you enlist to help you interpret the meaning of the results?
- How should the results be presented/communicated to key stakeholders?
- What can you do to facilitate the use of the results?
If you need help figuring out what questions to ask or what to do with your results, don't hesitate to contact me!
-Whitney Meredith, evaluation specialist