Six connected steps together can be used as a starting point to tailor an evaluation for a particular public health effort, at a particular point in time. An order exists for fulfilling each step – in general, the earlier steps provide the foundation for subsequent progress.
- Edit_01Engage stakeholders, including those involved in program operations; those served or affected by the program; and primary users of the evaluation.
- Edit_01Describe the program, including the need, expected effects, activities, resources, stage, context and logic model.
- Edit_01Focus the evaluation design to assess the issues of greatest concern to stakeholders while using time and resources as efficiently as possible. Consider the purpose, users, uses, questions, methods and agreements.
- Gather credible evidence to strengthen evaluation judgments and the recommendations that follow. These aspects of evidence gathering typically affect perceptions of credibility: indicators, sources, quality, quantity and logistics. For additional details, see Gathering Credible Evidence Cdc-pdf[PDF – 14KB].
- Justify conclusions by linking them to the evidence gathered and judging them against agreed-upon values or standards set by the stakeholders. Justify conclusions on the basis of evidence using these five elements: standards, analysis/synthesis, interpretation, judgment and recommendations. For additional details, see Justifying Conclusions Cdc-pdf[PDF – 15KB].
- Ensure use and share lessons learned with these steps: design, preparation, feedback, follow-up and dissemination. For additional details, see Ensuring Use and Sharing Lessons Learned Cdc-pdf[PDF – 15KB] as well as a checklist Cdc-pdf[PDF – 18KB] of items to consider when developing evaluation reports.
The options at each step are many – there are many potential levels of detail to a logic model, countless potential stakeholders, and a large number of potential ways to gather evidence. The Framework asks you to apply each of the 4 groups of evaluation standards as a “lens” to help isolate the best approaches at each step.