The University of Arizona

Evaluation Plan

Evaluation is a set of approaches and techniques used to make judgments about the effectiveness or quality of a program or intervention; to improve its effectiveness; and to inform decisions abou its design, development, and implementation. Primarily process, or implementation evaluation, determines whether a program's activities have been implemented as intended while outcome, or effectiveness evaluation, measures program effects in the target population by assessing the progress in the outcomes or outcome objectives that the program is to achieve. Evaluation generally asks "did or did not" and "to what extent" type questions whereas your research will generally ask "how and "why". The stages of evaluation include:

  • Front-End: done for the purposes of planning a project or intervention
  • Formative: evaluation that happens while the project or intervention is occuring to help to make improvements
  • Summative: end of project evaluation that documents effectiveness and outcomes, typically used to help decide whether a program should be adopted, continued or modified. Summative evaluations can also be used to inform the field
  • Developmental: used in evaluating systems change, or in situations where the path to success is not clear, by collecting and analyzing real-time data to inform ongoing decision making

Research sponsors, both public and private, are increasingly requesting evaluation plans associated with research proposals. While you may be required to develop an evaluation plan for your sponsored research proposal, you may find that your project team, staff, institutional administrators, or your project's participants or consumers may also be interested in the evaluation of your program, project, or research.

Evaluation Resources