In order to highlight useful and relevant results, Threshold Evaluation & Consulting, LLC, remains grounded in a philosophy of maximum participation. Participatory dynamics among staff, stakeholders and the evaluation team guide the steps of the process. By systematically seeking opinions of staff, stakeholders, and service recipients, meaningful interaction validates findings and suggests additional sources of information and context.
While the language of evaluation frequently uses different categories such as process and impact, or formative and summative, these provide only the barest hint of form to a real evaluation that addresses what people most want to know about their program.
At this point in our project history, do we measure the aspects of our services that are most important to our clients?
The purpose of an evaluation is to systematically explore a question or problem that relates to your program. There are many shades of gray in evaluation as illustrated by these sample problem statements:
What context in different systems will affect a future project here or in a different geographic location?
What are the barriers and incentives to seeking our services?
Broad participation fosters understanding of priorities regarding what is to be evaluated, why, and using what methods. Discussion, synthesis, discovery of new information, reflection, revision—all of these are steps needed to integrate results into program activities. Use of both qualitative and quantitative data sources in a multi-method design provide strong evidence for program change. The types of data and analysis depend upon the problem to be explored, budgetary realities and time constraints.
Now that new technologies abound, do we need to continue accumulating this type of data or can we change to another type? How will we equate the information over time?