Evaluation, which is also referred to as Performance Measurement, can be broadly defined as:
“… a process of systematic inquiry to provide information and/or value of some object – a program, project, process, organization, system, or product. Use of the evaluation results might lead to making refinements to the program or to offering new services or products” (p. 12).1
Evaluation can help programs and organizations in:
- meeting funding requirements
- assessing how their programs are working
- developing best practices
- measuring their impact
- testing new ideas
- supporting decision-making
- improving existing programs
- engaging other partners
Regardless of the type of evaluation undertaken, all evaluations involve a cycle as described in this graph:
There are many different types of evaluation. This toolkit provides information on output monitoring, process evaluation, and outcome evaluation. By exploring the following subsections, you will learn strategies for developing your own evaluation for mentoring programs for youth facing multiple barriers to success.
- Developing a Program Logic Model or Theory of Change
- Types of Evaluations
- Collecting Data: Methods & Tools
- Analyzing, Reporting, & Using Results
- Ethical Standards & Considerations
- Building Capacity for Evaluation
Visit Key Resources on Evaluation for general evaluation guides and practical tools to help you plan and conduct your own evaluation.
- Preskill, H., & Torres, R. T. (1999). Building capacity for organizational learning through evaluative inquiry. Evaluation, 5(1), pp. 42-60.
- Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (OCECYMH, 2015). Program evaluation toolkit. Ottawa: Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Retrieved from: http://www.excellenceforchildandyouth.ca/sites/default/files/docs/program-evaluation-toolkit.pdf
- Wholey, J.S., Hatry, H.P., & Newcomer, K.E. (2010). Handbook of practical program evaluation (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.