The term program evaluation is generally used by nonprofits, while for-profits often refer to the same activities as quality improvement. It is basically the same thing, however, which is the process of intentionally trying to measure what you do, how you do it and whether you get the results you want.
Program evaluation and quality improvement are more focused than organizational inquiry, concentrating on the product or services produced.
Despite its more focused approach, many different styles and types of evaluation and quality improvement methodologies exist. EOI can work with you to identify what you need to measure and how to measure it. Each organization and program within an organization is unique so an evaluation is designed to meet your needs and budget.
EOI can help you develop a logic model, if necessary, to represent the resources you have, the activities in place and the short and long term outcomes you are working toward. We can help you find or develop for you, the tools you need to collect information and how to use these tools.
Quantitative methods include counting things and looking at numbers. Qualitative methods involve talking, listening and watching people, either one-on-one or in groups. Both types of methods can use surveys and questionnaires to collect data. EOI works with organizations to develop easy and simple ways to integrate collecting information into their daily activities. We don’t want to make more work for you. We want to help you work smarter.
Example: EOI worked with a children’s golf program that brought golf lessons to elementary school children. The program also focused on teaching the values which are part of golf, for example taking turns, into the children’s daily lives. The golf curriculum was well developed and written but did not include a way to determine if children actually learned the lessons about values and put them into action. After talking with staff and reviewing the program materials, EOI developed an observation tool. It took the form of a small pamphlet with items to look for and check off while staff observed the golf lessons. The tool included a way of quickly scoring the lesson, which enabled comparison to a standard and between classes. We were able to use identified goals and activities from the curriculum manual, concepts the staff was already familiar with, which made actually using the tool very easy.
Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain
This sculpture is a continuous loop that can represent information flow and learning in an organization. It is an art installation in Angerpark, Duisburg, Germany.