The Success Measures Project, an initiative of the Development Leadership Network, has developed a set of indicators for evaluating housing, economic development, and community building programs. The website includes an on-line version of their Guidebook, plus a list of resources. Contact: 617-971-9443.
The Renssalearville Institute provides templates and software for shifting management, data collection, and funding strategies to a results-focused approach, and seminars on how to use them. “The point of an outcome focus is not increased accountability, nor finely tuned process, but increased performance.” You can request TRI’s materials and view a seminar schedule at their website under “Outcome Framework.” Contact: 518-797-3783.
The United Way, through its Outcome Measurement Resource Network, has launched a major effort to encourage its agencies to adopt outcome measurement. A website contains background information on the effort, how-to publications, and a “research library.”
Innonet is a nonprofit committed to helping other nonprofits plan and evaluate programs through participatory evaluation. Its user-friendly website allows organizations to create budget plans, evaluation plans, and grant applications on the spot. Innonet also provides consultations, diagnostic tools, and half- or full-day training workshops. Contact: 202-728-0727.
The Evaluation Forum, a for-profit company, provides publications and workshops to help organizations adopt outcome evaluation systems. For more information: 206-269-0171.
The American Evaluation Association is the membership organization for professional and academic evaluators. Learn more about membership at their website or call 888-232-2275.
The Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation topical interest group of the AEA is headed by David Fetterman, former AEA president, who has put together a wide-ranging website with excerpts from many publications as well as a rich set of links, software recommendations, evaluation guides, and other resources.
Mosaic.net International, Inc., a private consulting firm in Ottawa, Canada, focuses on international participatory development, including participatory evaluation processes. Its website includes links to several articles on the topic, including the United Nations Handbook, Who are the Question Makers? Contact: 613-728-1439.
Free Management Library, a website of free resources on nonprofit management, contains a useful page aimed at those with little knowledge of evaluation. It starts off by debunking a set of myths and then gives a very basic introduction to the whys and hows of program evaluation.
Nonprofit Quarterly: “What Do We Measure and Why?” (Fall/Winter 1998). This special issue on evaluation includes articles on the difference between measurement and feedback, different categories and trends in evaluation, and many close-up looks at the practice of evaluation as experienced by nonprofit groups. Read the issue online, or order a copy from 617-523-6565 or 800-281-7770.
Program Evaluation Practice in Community Development, by Kesha Moore and Susan Rees. McAuley Institute and the Development Leadership Network, September 2001. Funded by the Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Sector Research Fund, this study is the first documentation of evaluation practices specific to the community development field. The research is based on a mail survey and eight case studies. Download from their website or contact the Policy and Research Department, McAuley Institute, 301-588-8110.
The Evaluation Exchange, Harvard Family Research Group, Harvard Graduate School of Education. This quarterly newsletter focuses on emerging strategies in family and child service evaluation. Features include noteworthy evaluation publications and resources, upcoming theory and practice research, and spotlights on promising practices. You can read, download, or subscribe to the newsletter online. Contact: 617-495-9108.
Performance Measurement, by Harry P. Hatry. The Urban Institute Press, 1999. This book provides implementation instructions for regular measurement of agency and program outcomes, efficiency, and results, and would be useful for managers or organizations seeking extensive training. Order from Urban Institute Press, 877-847-7377 or www.uipress.org.
Comparative Performance Measurement, by Elaine Morley, Scott P. Bryant, and Harry P. Hatry. The Urban Institute Press, 2001. This accessible book provides step-by-step instructions for comparative performance measurement, addressing what to compare, how to prepare for data collection, making data comparable, analyzing and reporting results, and applying information. Order from Urban Institute Press, 877-847-7377 or www.uipress.org.
Getting to Outcomes: Methods and Tools for Planning, Self-Evaluation and Accountability, by Abraham Wandersman, et al. National Center for the Advancement of Prevention, June 2000. This manual walks organizations through the steps to implementing empowerment evaluation. Download in PDF format for free.
Program Evaluation Practice in the Nonprofit Sector, by Allison Fine, Colette Thayer, and Anne Coghlan. Aspen Institute, 2000. This study, based on a mail survey and phone follow-ups, looks at how nonprofits use evaluation results; whether stakeholder involvement has an impact on evaluation uses; and how the level of stakeholder participation correlates to the characteristics of the organization, the type of evaluation, and the outcomes. Order from Aspen’s Publications Office, 410-820-5338.
Learning from Change: Issues and Experiences in Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation, Edited by Marisol Estrella, Jutta Blauert, Dindo Campilan, and Julian Gonsalves. International Development Research Center, September 2000. Bringing together 12 case studies plus discussions between practitioners, academics, donors and policy makers, this book explores conceptual, methodological, institutional, and policy issues in participatory monitoring and evaluation.
Evaluation with Power, by Sandra Trice Gray and Associates. Independent Sector, 1997. This practical guide includes sample questions for group evaluation, examples of board meeting effectiveness assessments, and other ready-to-use tools for broad organizational evaluation. Order from Independent Sector, 888-860-8118 or on their website.
Evaluator’s Handbook, by Joan L. Herman, Lynn Lyons Morris, and Carol Taylor Fitz-Gibbon. Sage Publications, 1988. The Success Measures Project calls this a good, basic and understandable guidebook on program evaluation. Many other evaluation-related publications are available from Sage Publications, although most are geared toward academia more than busy practitioners. Order from Sage Publications, 805-499-9774, firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.sagepub.com.