The Program Evaluation KnowledgeBase

The Program Evaluation KnowledgeBase is an online resource aiding education professionals in understanding the basics of project evaluation in order to properly assess projects and programs. It is organized around three elements to assist educators with their program evaluation.

Element 1: Plan the Evaluation

Purpose: Planning how to conduct a program evaluation is the essessential the first step. The preparatory thinking involves understanding the program being evaluated, organizing an evaluation team, and determining how to conduct the evaluation. Element 1 outlines the pre-planning tasks.

Activity 1: Understand Evaluation

Activity 2: Organize Evaluation Team

Activity 3: Establish Evaluation Focus

Element 2: Implement the Evaluation

Purpose: Conducting the evaluation involves designing data collection so the analysis and interpretation will answer the questions the evaluation sets out to resolve. When developing and implementing the evaluation design be flexible to collect and analyze data from many perspectives. The collected data should be attentive to the evaluation questions. Element 2 outlines the tasks associated with implementing the evaluation.

Activity 1: Data Collection

Activity 2: Understanding the Data

Activity 3: Report the Results

Task 1: Identify Target Audiences


Guideline: A communications message should be targeted to the needs of its audience. The evaluation team will interact with a range of audiences with different information needs. It must be cognizant of those needs when designing their message. The primary target audiences to plan for include funders, project staff and administrators, project participants or customers, community leaders, collaborating agencies, and others with a direct, or even indirect, interest in program effectiveness.

Checklist of Possible Stakeholders

A broad range of stakeholders should be involved in the improvement process. This checklist may help the improvement team identify stakeholders in its community.

Communications Plan Worksheet

This U.S. Department of Transportation worksheet from the "It All Adds Up to Cleaner Air" website identifies specific primary and secondary audiences for a communications plan. It may be a useful example for educators.

Alternate format: PDF

6 Steps to Decoding Your Target Audience

This link to the Forbes website offers practical tips for focusing communication efforts on target audiences.

Element 3: Use the Results

Purpose: The evaluation's findings and recommendation have limited value unless they are shared with the stakeholders and utilized to improve the evaluated program. Using the results to improve the evaluated program and communicating with constituencies are activities that occur in parallel. Element 3 outlines the tasks associated with using the results.

Activity 1: Communicate with Constituencies

Activity 2: Use Results to Improve