Program Evaluation Toolbox
Welcome to the AYCO Program Evaluation Toolbox!
Hello, and welcome to the AYCO / ACE program evaluation toolbox. These resources were designed to help you conduct program evaluations to monitor your impact and share the effects of your program. This document is an orientation to the resources, and a suggested process for engaging with the system.
Step 1: Know your Reasons
Before you start evaluating anything, you need to make sure you know why you’re evaluating and what information you’ll need to collect. Read the Logic Models and Theories of Change document to help you figure this out. If your program already has a logic model or theory of change, you can skip this document. If you don’t know what a logic model or theory of change is, please don’t skip this document!
Step 2: Make a Plan
Once you know why you’re evaluating and what types of information you’ll need to collect, you need to make a plan for collecting that information. Read the Survey Development and Study Design document to help you translate your theory of change or logic model into an evaluation plan. Depending on why you’re evaluating, your plan may focus more on process evaluation (what is happening in the program) or on outcome evaluation (what is the result of the program).
Step 3: Implement
Now that you have a plan, you’re ready to start evaluating! Read the Tips and Tricks for Collecting Data document for some ideas for how to efficiently and effectively collect data from your participants. Depending on your plan, you may also incorporate other data sources such as parents or program staff.
Step 4: Analyze
Ready to see your results? Read the Data Analysis Guide to help you turn your raw data (what you collected from participants) into information you can use. This is also a good point in the process to bring in outside help if you are not a fan of spreadsheets or statistics. Either way, by the end of this step you will have answers (and probably more questions for a follow-up evaluation!) that you can use to improve your program or share with funders, participants, community members, or other stakeholders.
Step 5: Report
Now that you have your results, you need to share them! Read the Reporting Evaluation Results document to help you communicate your findings and show your program’s impact.
About the Toolbox
This guide is designed to help you conduct a survey-based program evaluation. It currently does not provide support for other types of data collection or analysis. If you want to use those methods you will probably want to bring in outside help. You’ll also notice that there are more resources in the toolbox system than the ones mentioned here. Don’t worry about those now. The documents referenced in the four steps outlined here will point you to those additional resources when it’s time. Happy evaluating!