A solid data collection plan is the foundation for a well-implemented program evaluation. Prior to collecting data, your evaluator will work with you to do the following:
- Develop a data management system, like a database or a management information system (MIS) to house all evaluation data in a secure environment that maintains confidentiality. Information should be user-friendly and easily accessible
- Select, develop, or finalize informed consent forms
- Inform evaluation participants about what you are asking of them and that their participation in evaluation activities is completely voluntary
- Obtain their participation permission in writing
- Apply for and obtain approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB), if necessary. An IRB is a group that has been formally designated to approve, monitor and review research that involves the study of humans with the aim of protecting their rights and welfare. The IRB will help ensure that you have industry-standard protections in place
- Recruit a comparison group, if necessary
- The 2002 User-Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation National Science Foundation
- Developing process evaluation questions. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Harrel, A., Burt, M., Hatry, H., Rossman, S., Roth, J. & Sabol., W. (n.d.). Evaluation strategies for human services programs. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute.
- "Evaluation Resource Guide for Responsible Fatherhood Program," Office of Family Assistance.
- Data Collection Methods, the Compassion Capital Fund National Resource Center
- Checklist for Data Collection Design, the Compassion Capital Fund National Resource Center
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation. The Program Manager's Guide to Evaluation Glossary.