Evaluation Plans

Getting from program theory to evaluation plan


Evaluation is defined as a determination of the merit, worth, value, or significance of something. Program evaluation answers three basic questions about a program: “What?”, “So What?”, and “Now What?”1

What is an Evaluation Plan?

An evaluation plan clearly lays out the methods by which the questions raised by your logic model will be answered. There is no standard format for an evaluation plan, but a useful evaluation plan will document the purpose of all evaluation activities, the key questions to be answered, the methods you will use to answer them, and a plan for communicating results.

Typically, evaluation planning involves a series of steps:

  1. Create a logic model
  2. Identify the purpose and audience for evaluation
  3. Use your logic model to identify and prioritize evaluation questions
  4. Decide what indicators will answer your evaluation questions
  5. Select data sources or methods that will provide information on your indicators
  6. Generate a comprehensive data collection, analysis, and reporting plan
  7. Create and evaluation timeline and budget

The resources in this section can help you get started with this process.

1. Patton, M. Q. (2008). Utilization-focused evaluation. 4th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.