Getting to an Evaluation Plan: A Six-Step Process from Engagement to Evidence

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Author(s): Brittany S. Iskarpatyoti, Beth Sutherland, Heidi W. Reynolds

Year: 2017

Getting to an Evaluation Plan: A Six-Step Process from Engagement to Evidence Abstract:

MEASURE Evaluation has just published a workbook—Getting to an Evaluation Plan: A Six-Step Process from Engagement to Evidence—developed to help HIV program implementers plan evaluation of their work. The collection, analysis, and use of evaluation data to measure performance—especially when different stakeholders own the data—should be intentionally planned so the effort yields evidence of how and why programs are or are not working. An evaluation plan is a means to organize evaluation activities as they are connected to outputs, outcomes, and impact.

The purpose of this workbook is to provide practical advice and activities to facilitate the preparation of a written evaluation plan that is in line with best evaluation planning practices, as outlined by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) HIV Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group, United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) (USAID, 2011; UNAIDS, 2010b; PEPFAR, 2015).

The workbook will help implementers identify existing and planned data sources; prioritize evaluation research questions; and determine the roles, responsibilities, and timelines for answering the research questions. The process of developing an evaluation plan in cooperation with a group of stakeholders will foster collaboration, shared purpose, and transparency, thereby ensuring that stakeholders agree on the purpose and use of the evaluation’s findings. A plan also deflects wasted effort and ensures that information is available to answer the agreed-upon questions.

This workbook describes a six-step process for developing a written evaluation plan: (1) engage stakeholders; (2) know your program; (3) know your evaluation needs; (4) select the evaluation design; (5) draft the evaluation plan; and (6) ensure use. Extensive field testing of this process assures that that users will successfully produce a complete evaluation plan that is wholly owned by the stakeholders who participate in the process.

Although this workbook was developed in the context of evaluation planning for HIV programs, many stakeholders involved in the pilot and field applications come from other sectors. The variety of users suggests that this process can be applied successfully in other health areas and sectors. 

Filed under: Evaluation , HIV , Data