"There are five key variables that are absolutely critical in evaluaton use. They are, in order of importance: people, people, people, people, and people." -- Michael Quinn Patton
Outcomes have the power to successfully guide planning and prioritize actions to achieve meaningful results. Outcome-based evaluation is a systematic way to assess the extent to which a program has achieved its intended results. The journey toward outcome-based evaluation requires new technical knowledge, but also the belief that we can learn how a program has made a difference and a commitment to using that information to improve service delivery.
A need for greater accountability
In the past, evaluation has been imposed on organizations by their funders, or developed as an academic project by outside experts. The primary driver for evaluation has been the need for greater accountability. Increasingly, evaluation is being undertaken in a more collaborative environment where agencies and community stakeholders play a much greater role and use the information they gain to strengthen program quality and market their services.
Clegg & Associates believes strongly in a participatory approach to evaluation--an approach that involves our clients, and often our clients’ clients, in the design and implementation of their evaluation. Even in projects where we play the role of “outside evaluator,” Clegg & Associates works hard to build our clients’ understanding of and capacity to undertake evaluation. We solicit the input of program stakeholders in decisions about the approach and design of the evaluation, involve them in development of data collection tools, and often work in partnership to collect and interpret the data required. Clegg & Associates produces evaluation reports that provide insight into a program and its operation, answer the questions agencies and their funders have, and suggest areas for change or improvement.
We offer extensive training and materials to assist organizations in making the transition to outcome-based planning and evaluation. Clegg & Associates' services include:
- Trainings on outcome-based evaluation
- Coaching and consultation on evaluation system design and implementation
- Conducting participatory and independent, third-party evaluations