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How to be a master evaluator

By Samantha Grant

I work with some brilliant evaluators. They can do some pretty amazing things like use mapping software to see trends or conduct sophisticated evaluations to understand systems that influence our programs. Evaluation can be a very technical field.

Not all evaluation is highly technical, though sometimes evaluators perpetuate that idea. I believe, and have seen through my work with youth workers, that some of the most astute youth workers are also great program evaluators.

Why do some people feel comfortable conducting evaluations and others don’t? That is the million dollar question. I believe that basic evaluation skills are easy to build with some core tools. With that in mind, I have developed an evaluation website called Evaluating Education Programs to help people who lead educational programs learn more about evaluation.

Check out the website by going to:

You’ll find:
  • Fun and informative videos on topics like creative evaluation approaches and survey design
  • Tip sheets to help you design an evaluation or build evaluation skills in your team
  • Podcasts on data visualization and communicating with financial stakeholders
  • Special topics like conducting evaluation with youth

Don’t know anything about evaluation but want to start? Check out the assessment on the front page to figure out where you should start on your evaluation journey.

I've gathered here all of the resources that I typically use when consulting on an evaluation or when teaching about evaluation. I've also worked with some of the brilliant evaluators on my team to bring you their resources.

Evaluation may seem complicated to you, but I hope you will check out Evaluating Education Programs and get some new resources that will demystify the evaluation process.

What evaluation resources would be helpful to you? What skills do you need to be a more confident evaluator?

-- Samantha Grant, evaluation director

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