Toolkit on Effective Mentoring for Youth
Facing Barriers to Success

Best practices and resources to build, strengthen, evaluate and sustain effective mentoring programs for youth considered at high-risk of under education, unemployment, homelessness, criminalization, and other negative outcomes.

Program Evaluation, Learning & Improvement

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.


Visit Key Resources on Evaluation for general evaluation guides and practical tools to help you plan and conduct your own evaluation.


  1. Preskill, H., & Torres, R. T. (1999). Building capacity for organizational learning through evaluative inquiry. Evaluation, 5(1), pp. 42-60.
  2. Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (OCECYMH, 2015). Program evaluation toolkit. Ottawa: Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Retrieved from:
  3. Wholey, J.S., Hatry, H.P., & Newcomer, K.E. (2010). Handbook of practical program evaluation (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services