The Evaluation Center offers a full range of evaluation services to our clients, including designing and conducting evaluations, integrating qualitative and quantitative analyses, and disseminating findings in a useful and meaningful way. We will work with you to develop a comprehensive plan that meets your unique needs, which will help you learn about and improve your program, as well as providing a rigorous and objective analysis of your program’s progress and effectiveness.
The Evaluation Center is unique among program evaluation groups because we operate as an autonomous not-for-profit entity embedded within the University of Colorado Denver. This provides us with access to resources including:
- Use of the university library for obtaining research literature,
- Relationships with experts in content and methodology, and
- A network of professional connections across the community and country.
Below you will find descriptions of our services. We invite you to contact us to discuss your project. Although we generally prefer to conduct a full program evaluation for clients, we can also provide evaluation services a la carte (such as helping to design a logic model conducting focus groups, or analyzing your existing data).
We will support you in selecting the best approach for your evaluation to assure you receive the most relevant and useful data that meet the needs of your organization/community. We have particular expertise in the following evaluation approaches:
Designing Evaluation Plans
- Evaluation design – We can develop an evaluation plan that will help you answer questions about your program(s). Do you want to know what is working well? Do you want to know the impact of your programs? We will work with you to craft a plan that meets your needs whether for a single program or an entire organization.
- Logic models – We have extensive expertise in helping organizations to develop or refine their logic models. Logic models are important for communicating about your program both internally and externally and for creating and tracking measureable goals. This is a great tool to incorporate into your evaluation planning, program design, or strategic planning processes.
- Needs assessment – We can conduct a needs assessment (sometimes called a gap analysis) to help you answer questions about the needs of the clients and communities with whom you work. Understanding the needs of communities or clients is critical during program development, and equally important to assess during program delivery.
Assessing Implementation and Monitoring Progress
- Monitoring progress – We can help you conceptualize and set up a system for tracking progress towards your goals, which is important for program management and for collecting metrics in order to report to funders and other stakeholders. Throughout the life of a program, it is critical for program staff to have timely data to inform necessary decisions.
- Assessing implementation – During the course of your program it is important to answer questions about how well implementation is progressing, what helps the program to be successful, and what barriers have emerged. We can conduct an evaluation study to answer your questions about implementation, which will provide you with important information for making decisions about program improvement and next-steps.
Measuring Outcomes and Impact
We have the necessary skills to design an outcome evaluation that measures the effectiveness and impact of your program. We use mixed methods including both qualitative and quantitative information to create a comprehensive picture of your program’s activities and how these relate to your clients’ outcomes. Our qualitative expertise incorporates thematic coding using qualitative software. Our extensive expertise in statistical analysis includes ANOVA, multiple regression, multi-level modeling, and other methods of data analyses to measure program outcomes.
Most evaluations include a variety of data collection and analysis methods to address the evaluation questions. We have expertise in both quantitative data collection and analyses (SPSS, SAS) and qualitative methods (Nvivo). These can include:
- Focus Groups
- Surveys (development, administration, analysis, reporting)
- Instrument development (including online and/or paper surveys, interview and focus group protocols, observation tools, rubrics, pre and post-tests)
- Review of current literature on topics relevant to your program
- Analyses and summary of your existing data
- Tracking program milestones and indicators of success
- Facilitation of focus groups, meetings, and retreats can be part of a comprehensive evaluation study or can be a one-time/standalone service provided to clients.
- Grant proposal assistance is commonly provided to prospective and current clients who are in the process of submitting a proposal for grant funding with the understanding that, if that grant is funded, The Evaluation Center will provide the evaluation services for a predetermined price. We ask that we be involved in the process as early as possible since earlier involvement often makes for a more cohesive proposal.
- Capacity building services include training, coaching, and mentoring in a wide range of evaluation skills, approaches, and strategies. We tailor our capacity building services to the strengths, needs, and interests of the organizations that we support. Capacity building empowers organizations to conduct their own evaluation and utilize their data for program planning and organizational development.
Our deliverables are tailored to your needs, and designed to be both informative and useful depending on the target audience (e.g., program staff, funders, clients). As part of the evaluation scope, we will create a communication plan to ensure regular contact about the status of the evaluation and a schedule of deliverables. Common types of deliverables include:
- Full technical reports are generally completed as part of an evaluation study. They are a comprehensive description of the evaluation methods and findings and provide detailed analyses of data.
- Periodic briefings are often used with clients who need results from the evaluation study on a more interim basis and can include both written briefs and/or meetings to discuss and interpret the findings. These can replace a formal technical report or can be an additional strand of reporting.
- Newsletters are often a great way to provide summary results to key stakeholders such as program staff, program participants, boards, and steering committees.
- Presentations generally accompany a written program evaluation report, since we feel it is critical to provide our clients with structured time to discuss and reflect on the evaluation findings. We are skilled at presenting evaluation results tailored to the needs of a variety of audiences
Cost of Evaluation Services
Each year The Evaluation Center goes through the University’s cost study process to determine the hourly rate it must charge for evaluation services. The process ensures the Center charges an hourly rate that covers all operating expenses without generating excess profit. For the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year, The Evaluation Center’s hourly rate is $110 for all evaluation services. This rate is subject to change at any time.