Program Evaluation for the Homelessness Sector

4.3 Focus the evaluation

Step 3

This lesson describe how to focus your evaluation to determine what questions you want to answer and the type of evaluation you will use.

 

Once you have decided who your program stakeholders are and described your program, you can begin to focus on the purpose of your evaluation. Remember, the three types of evaluation questions:

1)   Is my program or service running as intended? (Implementation/process evaluation)

2)   What are the factors impacting how my program or service is being run? (Developmental evaluation)

3)   Is my program or service effective and achieving what it wants to? (Outcome evaluation)

Each of these questions can be further tailored to the needs of your program or service. For example, if you are interested in how your program or service is running, you may want to specifically pose evaluation questions like: Is the program or service reaching the intended population? What were the facilitators and barriers of implementing the program or service? Keep in mind, it’s important to make sure your evaluation questions are feasible.

Create an evaluation plan

STEP Questions What needs to happen? (actions) Who is responsible? When will you complete this step?
Purpose Do we want to change our practice? Are we interested in assessing the effects of an intervention? Are we trying to gain insights into the program process or results?      
Users How will we involve stakeholders in the process?      
Uses Will the information be used to improve the program? Will it be used to refine or shift funding from one program to another? Are we trying to find ways to increase the number of participants we can serve?      
Issues/ Needs What questions is the program addressing? What are the expected short term outcomes?      
Methods What type of evaluation should be completed? What research methods should be used?      
Agreements What are procedures, roles and responsibilities, safeguards will be utilized?      

Table 3. Evaluation Plan.