Is your focus too narrow?
We’ve previously talked about how it is important to be strategic in what you measure, and not try to measure everything at once. But it’s just as critical to not be too restricted in what you evaluate. Some evaluations only focus on outcomes: did we reach our target objective, rather than asking the questions, “Why or why not?” (Forti, 2012).
Furthermore, some people view evaluation as a one-time exercise. Perhaps it is something to satisfy a grant program manager, but the expensive evaluation results in a 50-page report that just sits on the shelf and collects dust.
So, how can you conduct an evaluation that actually helps your organization move forward?
- Focus your evaluation on exploring why certain strategies did or didn’t work. Don’t just limit your focus on whether or not they worked at all.
- Your evaluation report should incorporate some actionable recommendations that are feasible to implement in the future.
- View evaluation as a learning process, not just a once-and-done activity.
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