evaluation plans, some suggestions and resources

There is no one right way to do an evaluation plan, but there are some fairly standard components to an evaluation plan. Like,

  • the purpose of the evaluation
  • program description
  • a stakeholder assessment
  • evaluation questions
  • how those questions will be answered
  • criteria and standards
  • a communication plan
  • how the evaluation will be managed ~ personnel, budget and timeline

This template from CDC is a good place to start: evaluation plan outline. And the Evaluation Toolkit created by the Pell Institute provides direction as well. But also consider whether alternative formats for evaluation plans might be more effective, like this visual evaluation plan strategy using DoView described by Paul Duigan.

Because evaluation plans are meant to clearly outline what the evaluation will focus on and how it will be done tables, charts, figures and graphics often communicate more succinctly than prose.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 11.35.29 AMFor example, describing the program and what it is supposed to accomplish might look like this.







Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 11.38.02 AM And, evaluation questions, methods and even the overall evaluation design might look like this.







Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 11.42.00 AMAnd, a communication plan might look like this.



The ability to capture the big picture visually is also helpful and communicates the overall plan. Here are a few examples from Bethany Laursen, which Sheila Robinson shared on Evaltalk.


  1. Hi Sandra! I always appreciate seeing evaluation planning tools and resources. I appreciate the mention too, but need to point out that the visual resources are actually Bethany Laursen’s. I’m sure I shared them on EvalTalk, but the credit is hers. Also, my EvalTalk email goes to an old address with my former name, so I’m actually Sheila B. Robinson. This gives me the impetus to ditch the old email address (been meaning to do that for ages!). 🙂

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