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Alignment Table for Report Components

Evaluation Overview

The alignment table for sound project evaluation reports can be viewed either as a whole, displaying all components, or as six separate tables corresponding to report components: (1) Executive Summary, (2) Project Description, (3) Evaluation Overview, (4) Design, (5) Analysis Process, and (6) Results & Recommendations. See the alignment table overview for a general description of what appears in the alignment tables.

The glossary and quality criteria entries for report components are also available on their own.

Component Glossary Entry Quality Criteria Related Program Evaluation Standards
Evaluation Overview

Describes the purposes and questions driving the evaluation, as well as the credentials of the evaluator and the involvement of stakeholders in the evaluation.

Evaluation Purposes

Describes the goals and objectives of the evaluation. These should be focused around identifying the project's strengths and weaknesses as well as accomplishments and challenges, either in terms of how well its implementation was carried out (formative evaluation) and/or how successful it was in achieving intended outcomes (summative evaluation).

This section of the report may also describe additional "goal-free" purposes that involve gathering and inductively analyzing data in order to understand dimensions of the project that were not anticipated in the setting of goals.

The purposes of the evaluation should be:

  • stated in terms of goals and intended uses of results by stakeholders
  • described in enough detail to help stakeholders extrapolate critical meanings from the results

The evaluation should focus on whether or not promised project components are delivered and compare project outcomes against the assessed needs of the targeted participants or other beneficiaries. They should also be directed at finding unanticipated outcomes, both positive and negative.

A3 Described Purposes and Procedures
The purposes and procedures of the evaluation should be monitored and described in enough detail, so that they can be identified and assessed.

Evaluation Questions

States the questions that will be answered through data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Evaluation questions are developed from the evaluation goals and objectives and state specific information needs. They focus on aspects and outcomes of the project that are important to the stakeholders.

Evaluation questions that address context, implementation, and outcome variables provide the perspective not only for interpreting results, but also for understanding the conditions under which the results were obtained.

The questions should be justified against the following criteria:

  • To which stakeholders will answers to the questions be useful, and how?
  • How will answers to the questions provide new information?

The report can also delineate questions that could not be addressed because of constraints (e.g., limited time or resources, insufficiency of available data-gathering techniques).

Evaluator Credibility

Specifies the evaluator's credentials.

The professional qualifications of the evaluator should be specified in order to build trust in the results.

U2 Evaluator Credibility
Persons conducting the evaluation should be both trustworthy and competent to perform the evaluation, so that the evaluation findings achieve maximum credibility and acceptance.

Stakeholder Involvement

Describes what interests the various stakeholders have had in the evaluation, and what roles they played in it.

The report should describe how the positions and perspectives of the stakeholders have been considered in an ongoing manner, from the planning of the evaluation through the data collection, analysis, and interpretation. Stakeholder involvement in the evaluation can be beneficial because stakeholders can help the evaluator better understand project goals and objectives, shape evaluation questions, recommend data sources, and review findings. As a consequence of being involved, stakeholders are more likely to find the results credible, useful, and relevant, and less likely to curtail evaluation operations or hinder accurate and appropriate uses of the results.

F2 Political Viability
The evaluation should be planned and conducted with anticipation of the different positions of various interest groups, so that their cooperation may be obtained, and so that possible attempts by any of these groups to curtail evaluation operations or to bias or misapply the results can be averted or counteracted.

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