Evaluation: Learning More in Order to Do More.

Session Date and Time
Summit Session Moderator(s)
Dr. Samantha Illangasekare, Senior Social Science Research Analyst, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Washington, D.C.
Summit Session Presenter(s)
Sharon Rowser, Vice President, MDRC, Oakland, California
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Author (Organization)
Resource Type
Fatherhood Summit Session
Resource Format
Resource Language

Whether seeking federal or private funding, grant applications with well-designed evaluation proposals tell funders the program is poised to learn, grow, and improve over time. This session will provide guidance on designing an evaluation with the greatest chance of providing relevant, rigorous information to make the program stronger. The presenter will look at different research questions that are relevant for father-serving programs and suggest how an evaluation might answer them.

The presenter will provide some common evaluation terms and compare them to program terms to identify how researchers and program managers sometimes misunderstand each other. The session will explain how information that evaluators find can help programs address programmatic issues. The presenter will also discuss the importance of logic models to every program and evaluation effort and offer examples.

By the end of this session, participants will understand:

  • The different types of evaluations and the kinds of questions that each can and cannot address
  • How to align programming with evaluation to ensure the evaluation is measuring what the program is doing
  • How evaluation information can help improve program performance
  • The kinds of evaluation information funders seek in applications, and common pitfalls

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