Program Evaluation for the Homelessness Sector

4.4 Gather evidence

Step 4

This lesson covers how to determine the information you need to gather and decide which tools you will use.

Once you have an idea of your evaluation questions, you need to think about how you will gather the evidence (data). You need to choose specific indicators to measure. The measurement of indicators will be discussed in further in Designing and Conducting Evaluations in Part 2 of this training. For now you can begin to think about the types of indicators you will use. Typical indicators are the number of individuals enrolled in your program or service or client to staff ratios. An important indicator for housing programs might be the level of housing stability of program participants or clients.

Indicator  Quality Logistics
Observation
Interviews
Survey
Reliable data
Valid measures
Informative Unbiased
Methods, timing for gathering evidence
Methods for storing data
Avoid interfering with day-to-day operations

To collect the data, you may want to conduct surveys with clients of your programs or services, you may want to look at the administrative data your program or service keeps, you may want to conduct interviews and focus groups with clients, staff, and managers – it will depend on your evaluation plan.