Evaluation is the systematic assessment of the design, implementation, and utility of a program, practice or policy. There are several types of evaluation, which occur at different stages of a project. Three of the most common types are: process, fidelity, and outcome evaluation. Process evaluation involves understanding how a program works by documenting program functioning. Fidelity evaluation refers to assessing the extent to which a program is delivered as it was intended according to research. Outcome evaluation is an assessment of the effectiveness of a program -- does it work?
The Evaluation Workbook outlines the steps for developing an evaluation plan and includes templates, sample plans, and helpful tips. This workbook focuses primarily on outcome evaluation, but some resources related to process and fidelity evaluation are included in Appendix C.
Communities engaging in evaluation should already have a coalition in place and have completed a thorough needs assessment, created a strategic plan, and begun implementing programs and strategies.