The Second Edition of Building Evaluation Capacity provides 89 highly structured activities which require minimal instructor preparation and encourage application-based learning of how to design and conduct evaluation studies. Ideal for use in program evaluation courses, professional development workshops, and organization stakeholder trainings, the activities cover the entire process of evaluation, including: understanding what evaluation is; the politics and ethics; the influence of culture; various models, approaches and designs; data collection and analysis methods; communicating and reporting progress and findings; and building and sustaining support. Each activity includes an overview, instructional objectives, minimum and maximum number of participants, range of time required, materials needed, primary instructional method, and procedures for facilitators to help learners in the most common evaluation practices.

Collecting Evaluation Data

Collecting Evaluation Data


This section includes activities that address the following:

  • Choosing among data collection methods
  • Understanding how to design effective surveys and questionnaires
  • Conducting individual and focus group interviews
  • Collecting observation and archival (documents and records) data
  • Using appreciative inquiry in evaluation

The following information is provided as a brief introduction to the topics covered in these activities.

Choosing Among Data Collection Methods

It is important to recognize that the choice of data collection methods should come after determining an evaluation’s purpose and key questions. Only then can one determine which methods are best suited to addressing the evaluation’s concerns. Because each data collection method has inherent weaknesses, it is prudent to use multiple methods that collect both quantitative and qualitative data, whenever possible and appropriate. Using multiple methods ...

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