About This Series
Publication Date: January 2010
minus iconWhat Are Performance Measurement and Program Evaluation?
What Are the Basic Steps?
minus iconAppendixes
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What Are the Basic Steps?

Measuring a program’s performance and conducting an evaluation of it involve a great deal of planning and organization. One of the first steps to ensuring that your evaluation is conducted logically and methodically is for you to develop an evaluation plan, which provides the framework for the evaluation. If developed well, the plan will guide you step-by-step through the process of planning and implementing an evaluation and using its results to improve your program.

It is important to start with a plan so that you can review what you did against what you originally planned to do. The plan will help you focus on what will be evaluated (e.g., a program or aspect of a program), what you want to know (e.g., how effective the program or services are), how you will know the answer to your question when you see it (i.e., evidence), and when to collect the relevant data (i.e., timing). The plan also will help you determine the best methods for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting the data you collect, and reporting the results of your evaluation.

This section reviews the information you should include in your evaluation plan. A sample template for developing an evaluation plan is provided in appendix A (PDF 22.7 KB). Another helpful document for ensuring that you are making the right decisions as you implement your plan is the Evaluation and Performance Measurement Checklist in appendix B (PDF 57.2 KB). We encourage you to use this checklist throughout the process.