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Elements of an Evaluation Design

Historical Document

This document is provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ONLY as an historical reference for the public health community. It is no longer being maintained and the data it contains may no longer be current and/or accurate.


(NCI 1992)

Every formal design—whether formative, process, outcome, impact, or a combination—must contain eight basic elements.

1. A Statement of Communication Objectives

Unless there is an adequate definition of desired achievements, evaluation cannot measure them. Evaluators need clear and definite objectives in order to measure program effects.

2. Definition of Data To Be Collected

This is the determination of what is to be measured in relation to the objectives.

3. Methodology

A study design is formulated to permit measurement in a valid and reliable manner.

4. Instrumentation

Data collection instruments are designed and pretested. These instruments range from simple tally sheets for counting public inquiries to complex survey and interview forms.

5. Data Collection

The actual process of gathering information.

6. Data Processing

Putting the information into a usable form for analysis.

7. Data Analysis

The application of statistical techniques to the information to discover significant relationships.

8. Report

Compiling and recording evaluation results. These results rarely pronounce a program a complete success or failure. To some extent, all programs have good elements and bad. It is important to appreciate that lessons can be learned from both if results are properly analyzed. These lessons should be applied to altering the existing program or as a guide to planning new efforts.

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