There are so many wonderful things about program evaluation. Here are a few:

  • Program evaluation helps everyday people make sense of numbers.
  • Program evaluation helps the people who run programs understand the link between what they’re doing and what they hope to accomplish. This is one of many reasons why I love building logic models with non-evaluators.
  • Program evaluation is such a huge field and takes so many forms. Evaluators can choose to specialize in just about anything – the content area they’re evaluating (i.e. environment, K-12 education, etc.), research design, quantitative or qualitative data analysis, surveys research, project management, grant writing/applying to RFPs, disseminating results, writing reports, etc. You can have all these skills or choose one, or specialize in one skill early in your career and focus on another skill later on.
  • Evaluators never get bored. We’re always challenged by what we’re doing.
  • And my favorite thing about evaluation… Different types of program evaluation can serve different purposes depending on what information is needed, by whom, and when.

What are some of your own favorite things about program evaluation?