Finally we are ready to launch your evaluation! Of course, no one launches without gathering a significant amount of data – do we have all the astronauts, what is the weather report, do we have enough fuel, etc. We will now develop a data collection and management plan for your program beginning with this pre-launch sequence:
- get people invested by explaining what you will do with the data,
- invite others (such as government agencies, sister organizations, and community forums) to participate,
- focus on both formal and informal communication channels, and
- share your findings to promote buy-in.
Plan to gather both qualitative and qualitative data to provide a rich, well-rounded picture of your program. Some quantitative data include observation, surveys with open-ended questions (such as opinion questions), interviews, focus groups and case studies. Quantitative data-gathering methodologies you might consider are surveys with close-ended questions (such as true/false and multiple choice), checklists, organizational statistics, or documentation. Do a benefits and challenges chart for each methodology you consider before you decide on which methods to choose.
Carefully consider what data will most inform your program evaluation, and what qualitative and quantitative methods you will use to get it. If you need some extra help see our website for additional resources or give us a call.
What types of data are you currently using? What type of data will you be collecting and what challenges do you see ahead?