DEFINING EVALUATION QUESTIONS (EVALUATION GOALS)
Involving stakeholders in the development of evaluation questions is a good idea as each set of stakeholders will have a unique perspective. Evaluation questions should be broad and, ideally, open-ended with the possibility of leading to further action such as program improvement. An example is:
"To what extent did the program meet the needs of the clients?"
In general terms, evaluation questions are similar to the goals of an evaluation. Goals are broad and provide the overall focus or vision for the evaluation, but are not necessarily linked to a specific time or measure. An example of the above question stated as a goal is:
"To understand whether the program met the needs of the clients."
Things to consider when developing evaluation questions (you might want to refer back to your program description or logic model):
- What is the purpose of the evaluation?
- What is the aim/objective of the program?
- What are the intended outcomes? (You can include short-, medium-, or long-term goals.)
- How would the program lead to these outcomes?
- Why would the program lead to these outcomes?
- How can you measure progress towards these outcomes?