Tip: Include in online reporting systems a form for evaluators to complete as part of the annual report(s) that include the following required categories:
- demographic information being collected, including the categories used for race/ethnicity and disability;
- difficulties, if any, in accessing data;
- findings to date broken out by different demographic characteristics;
- how stakeholders are involved in the evaluation, including the findings they will receive;
- if there is an evaluation advisory board, the feedback they have provided (What populations and areas of expertise are represented in the advisory board? Will the advisory board review evaluation efforts?);
- changes made in the project this year, based on evaluation findings; and
- ways, if any, the evaluation being implemented differs from the original plan in terms of measures, samples, data collection, and analysis.
Tip: As appropriate and needed, provide evaluators with contacts and resources to increase access to comparison data.
Tip: Have principal investigators document the feedback they provide to the evaluation team on such areas as usefulness of the findings and ways the evaluation team could make the evaluation more useful. Have the evaluation team document their responses to principal investigator feedback.
Rationale: Program officer attention to evaluation efforts is key to improving the overall quality of evaluations and the degree to which evaluation findings are used. However, attention is not enough. Along with paying attention, program officers need to provide project staff and evaluators feedback on the quality of the evaluation, the usefulness of the results, and the degree to which the results are used.