This brief article advocates for ministry and program evaluation and overcoming discomfort with evaluation to include it in intentional and effective ways. It begins by noting that evaluation inevitably happens in informal ways, such as participants’ casual conversation or their decision whether or not to continue participating. But since evaluation that is not planned and followed up doesn’t provide benefits, it is important to build formal evaluation into all program planning. Some benefits include providing participants the opportunity to express opinion, providing planners with measurements to use in future planning, building on success and correcting mistakes. A simple process of tying evaluation plans to program goals is outlined along with some key questions for conducting an evaluation. Finally, the article includes brief descriptions of ten creative methods for inviting feedback and evaluation, along with a simple grid to use for conducting an evaluation. Designed for evaluation of education and formation programs, this tool will be useful to anyone involved in program planning and evaluation.
Curated by Wendy McCormick