A quick health and wellness check: How are your fingernails? Didn’t chew or bite them off during the FIFA 2022 finals yesterday? And the voice not too raspy, I presume (from screaming, etc!?)
For the rest of us, it’s back to business so here I am wrapping up (hopefully) the last evaluation report of 2022.
We have completed numerous evaluation reports to date and it’s always fun to keep count. It’s No. 366 with this one going out of the mailbox soon.
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 and overall formatting. 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’s 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?
Yes, it really does.
1. A written report delivered on time really matters.
2. An evaluation report investigates, informs, and helps to improve the program’s efforts.
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 about 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,” and 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.
7. An evaluation report tells the story.
Who reads it?
The 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. policymakers, 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?
5. What should go in the appendices? How much?
Hope we all enjoy this (somewhat slowish) work week before the holidays.