About This Series
Publication Date: January 2010
minus iconWhat Do I Look For?
How Do I Find One?
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How Do I Find One?

Where To Look

You may choose to use an individual or organization that is referred to you or that you have worked with in the past. If that is not the case, there are several alternate sources for finding an evaluator. The primary sources are provided in exhibit 3, along with the pros and cons of each source.

Exhibit 3
Sources for Finding a Local Evaluator
Source Pros Cons
Local College or University Educational institutions offer a range of expertise via faculty members and graduate students at low to moderate overhead costs. Many small not-for-profit organizations have found low-cost data collection assistance through local colleges or universities. With proper training, graduate students (the more inexpensive option) can easily create instruments and collect and analyze data. Contact college or university departments such as behavioral/social science, criminal justice, social work, or public health to see if they have faculty and/or graduate students to assist you. Faculty and graduate students often have teaching or schoolwork duties that compete with the time that they have to devote to an evaluation. They may also see this as an opportunity to conduct personal research of interest to them.
Local Independent Researcher Researchers who work alone or with a minimal staff provide high-level expertise at low overhead cost. They commonly have the flexibility of working onsite, enabling frequent interaction with your initiative’s participants. Independent researchers do not have the advantage of working within a larger organization that can provide a range of expertise and meet the time commitments necessary to get the job done in a timely manner.
Local Research and Evaluation Organization Organizations with research and evaluation departments offer a range of expertise and in-house state-of-the-art technology, which allows them to meet multiple needs. These organizations typically have higher overhead costs.