Took some time today to proofread an evaluation report for one of our National Science Foundation’s S-STEM grants for West Chester University of Pennsylvanian. This report is the final report for 2021 and number 315 for MNA before it’s sent off early next week for the client’s review and submission to the agency later in January 2022.
We have completed numerous reports to date and it’s always fun to keep a count.
One last look.
Some may call this a force of habit. Some may call this a final check to view a report’s design layout. I call this giving one last look before it is sent to the client.
A full portrait of a report in a print layout. So many small slides laid out frame-by-frame. It is a visually satisfying moment.
What does it mean to complete a report for a client?
Technically, as evaluators, completing an evaluation report means that we have fulfilled our contractual obligation(s) to our client by completing a deliverable—generally, an evaluation report.
Does it matter?
1. Yes. A written report (delivered on) time really matters.
2. An evaluation report investigates, informs and improves.
3. A report is a testament to the program being evaluated for its fidelity, efficiency, efficacy, and (intended/perceived) impact(s) on its participants or the system that was studied.
4. A well-written report presents information of the program that may show promise to affect not only its intended participants but also a larger group or the system, if scaled and/or sustained.
5. The report also highlights the program’s “good practices,” its ability to directly affect the participants who may have received funds, supports, services, and/or interventions over a period of time.
6. More so, an evaluation report has data presented accurately in the form of numbers/percentages and narratives collected from multiple sources including interviews, focus groups, surveys, administrative data, and others.
Who reads it?
Primary audience for an evaluation report is almost always the client who hired you/r company. Others include:
1. the funding source/agency
2. program stakeholders
3. policy makers, and
4. other constituents.
Knowing your target audience is critical before writing an evaluation report. Some basic considerations include:
1. Does the report have to be technical or non-technical? Maybe, mixed?
2. How should the data be presented? (e.g, tables, graphs, figures, use of appendices, etc).
3. How many pages? Should we include images/pictures?
4. What should be the general format, design, color scheme, etc?
Another post for another day. For now, we are just glad to complete this report and close our laptops (hopefully!) for sometime. Until next time……