Things You Should Know Before Evaluation
Things You Should Know Before Starting These Modules
Before you begin, be aware of certain issues that may affect the steps in your process:
- Collecting evaluation data is a science. It costs money, takes resources and expertise. There are valid methods and protocols that have been developed and peer reviewed. These modules will help you build the “best available science” into your evaluation using defined resources.
- Begin with Evaluation Planning – This module will guide you on which methods are most appropriate to meet your end goal with the resources you have available.
- There are federal rules about how you engage and protect the rights of the people you are assessing the impacts on. You will learn how to comply with these rules and meet federal requirements such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy, Security and Breach Notification Rules HIPPA and the Paper Reduction Act. You will learn about your Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and how they can help you comply with the rules.
- This guide will let you know when a project requires a trained evaluation specialist or economist to do advanced analysis. In such cases expect an annual budget of at least $30,000 to $50,000 (4 to 6 months of work) for advanced analysis. These modules will tell you how to find and attract the right evaluation specialists and economists to your project.
- You will learn to design a project with a realistic budget for the evaluation work you plan to do. Each section has additional guidelines for budget for data collection, analysis, and personnel.
- Remember, proving a change in measurements or a correlation is not the same as proving causation. Correlation is a relationship between elements of a program such as training and perception. Causation occures when one element causes a particular outcome such as training causing a change in behavoir. Proving causation usually requires years and years of research effort.