The Program Evaluation KnowledgeBase

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 3: Determine Communication Modes


Guideline: The evaluation team should think through how to disseminate the findings and recommendations for the evaluated program.

Different Formats for Different Audiences

This document lists a number of different types of reports and suggests appropriate audiences for each report.

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

Guidelines for Effective Public Engagement

This Education Leadership Toolkit document offers five guidelines for effective public engagement. The Education Leadership Toolkit was a project of the National School Boards Foundation under a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Presenting to Difficult Audiences

Not everyone may be receptive to the message being conveyed. This document provides five recommendations for presenting difficult messages to audiences.


Tip Sheet - Crafting Effective Messages

This Biodiversity Project document offers ten tips for crafting effective messages for communications plans.

Writing to Linguistically Diverse Audiences

Writing effectively for an audience with a wide variety of backgrounds is difficult. This page provides several resources to help writers craft their message to reach the widest possible audience.

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