This happened just this past week.
Client: Well, thanks for the evaluation report. You put a lot of work into it. However, we already knew the results before reading the report.
So, we didn’t learn anything new from the data findings.
Me: Thank you for reading the report. Did you get a chance to go over the lessons learned/gaps and recommendations we provided at the end of the report?
Client: Yes, we did. And it was the best part of the report. The recommendations were actionable, meaningful, and made sense within the context of our work. After reading the recommendations, our team discussed them in detail and came up with ideas on how we can change or modify things within the program. We appreciate them the most.
Me: Well, thank you! We have made these recommendations based on:
1. Our experience in evaluating similar programs across the country
2. Knowing what may work, for whom, and under what circumstances drawing from data, research, and literature
3. Their feasibility and application in both the short-and-long terms
4. Program’s (staff, costs) capacity to make the changes and
5. Our ability to collect data and report results back on the changes made to the program.
As an evaluator, it is our responsibility to provide SMART recommendations for the SMART goals of a program we are evaluating.
(SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.)
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