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An Evaluation Plan may focus on:

  1. EFFORT – What resources were applied to a project or initiative compared to some norm?
  2. EFFICIENCY – At what cost was an activity or an objective accomplished?
  3. EFFECT – To what degree has a goal been attained?
  4. PROCESS – Has the project or initiative contributed to change? In what ways has it done so?

Effort and efficiency are often easier to evaluate than effect or process.


An Evaluation Plan may also focus on:

  1. REACTION – How did an audience respond to a service or product?
  2. LEARNING – Did an audience acquire new knowledge?
  3. BEHAVIOR – To what degree did a person or organization’s behavior change in a desired direction?
  4. RESULTS – To what degree did a project or initiative lead to a desired change or meet a goal?

Reaction is often easier to evaluate than learning, behavior, or results.


Creating Evaluation Plans:

In planning to describe an Evaluation Plan in a proposal, several questions prove useful:

Purpose: What do you want to learn from the evaluation? Why are you proposing to evaluate what you propose to evaluate? Are you evaluating everything the grant maker requires you to evaluate?

Direction: Do you want to use the evaluation’s process and findings to guide future practices? Do you want to use the evaluation to look at past practices and results?

Cost: How much will the evaluation cost? How much of the costs will a grant support? How much of them will you support as the applicant?

Time: What are the deadlines for interim and final evaluation reports? What is the schedule of monitoring and measuring the performance outcomes of your activities?

Phases: Can your evaluation occur in steps or phases? Must your evaluation cover all aspects of your project or initiative from its start? Will evaluation be formative, summative, or both?

Constraints: How much time will it take before you can observe and measure impacts? Will available measurement data be quantitative, qualitative, or both?

Personnel: Who will do the evaluation? Will you use a team of evaluators or only one evaluator? What background and qualifications will you require of your evaluators?

Sources: Will the evaluation be internal, external, or both? How will you ensure objectivity in the evaluation process and in reporting?


This post is one in a series about questions useful in planning competitive grant proposals.


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