Steps in managing an evaluation project

The Toolkit takes you through seven steps for planning and implementing a program evaluation project. For most evaluations, the early steps (1-4) are critical and need a substantial investment in time.

The 7 Steps of an Evaluation Project

  1. Develop program logic and review needs

    An important early step in planning a program evaluation is to describe how the program is intended to work, using program logic. In some cases it is important to review the needs the program aims to address, through a needs assessment.

  2. Develop the evaluation brief

    The evaluation brief is a document that is used to gain agreement on an evaluation and develop a Request for Tender (RFT) to commission. an external evaluation or to develop agreements for an internal evaluation.

  3. Commission the evaluation project

    This step covers preparing a Request for Tender (RFT) that requires detailed, rigorous, feasible and ethical submissions from tenderers. It builds on the evaluation brief and the evaluation design including whether to do the project internally or to seek an external provider for all or part of the evaluation project.

  4. Manage development of the evaluation design

    The design of a program evaluation sets out the combination of research methods that will be used to provide evidence for the key evaluation questions being addressed in the evaluation brief. The design defines the data that is needed for the evaluation, and when and how it will be collected. The evaluation design needs to ensure that the evaluation will be as rigorous and systematic as possible, while meeting needs for utility, feasibility and ethics.

  5. Manage development of the evaluation workplan

    Planning for the implementation of an evaluation project should incorporate good practice in project management. Developing a clear workplan, with realistic timeframes, clear deliverables and milestones is crucial for ensuring the evaluation stays on track and achieves the intended results. The processes are similar for internal and external evaluation projects.

  6. Manage implementation of the workplan, including production of the report(s)

    The actual conduct of the program evaluation involves implementing the workplan to collect and analyse the data, and to prepare reports. The development of the workplan was discussed at Step 5.

  7. Disseminate report and support use of the evaluation

    Findings from a program evaluation may be received by different audiences and used for different purposes. The results of an evaluation should be communicated to relevant audiences and used to inform future practices