Checklists and evaluation

November 6, 2007 at 10:04 am 2 comments

Often in evaluation, we are asked to evaluate projects and programmes from several different perspectives: the end user, the implementer or that of an external specialist or “expert”. I always favour the idea that evaluation is representing the *target audiences* point of view – as is often the case in evaluating training or communications programmes – we are trying to explain the effects of a given programme or project on target audiences. However, often a complementary point of view from an “expert” can be useful. A simple example – imagine if you making an assessment of a company website – a useful comparison would be comparing the feedback from site visitors with that of an “expert” who examines the the website and gives his/her opinion.

However, often opinions of “experts” are mixed in with feedback from audiences and comes across as unstructured opinions and impressions. A way of avoiding this is for “experts” to use checklists – a structured way to assess the overall merit, worth or importance of something.

Now many would consider checklists as being a simple tool not worthy of discussion. But actually a checklist is often a representation of a huge body of knowledge or experience: e.g. how do you determine and describe the key criteria for a successful website?

Most checklists used in evaluation are criteria of merit checklists – where a series of criteria are established and given a standard scale (e.g. very poor to excellent) and are weighed equally or not (e.g. one criteria is equal or more crucial than the next one). Here are several examples where checklists could be useful in evaluation:

  • Evaluating an event: you determine “success criteria” for the event and have several experts use a checklist and then compare results.
  • Project implementation: a team of evaluators are interviewing staff/partners on how a project is being implemented. The evaluators use a checklist to assess the progress themselves.
  • Evaluating services/products: commonly used, where a checklist is used by a selection panel to determine the most appropriate product/services for their needs.

This post by Rick Davies actually got me thinking about this subject and discusses the use of checklists in assessing the functioning of health centres.

Glenn

Entry filed under: Development evaluation, Evaluation methodology, Evaluation tools (surveys, interviews..), Training evaluation.

Relationship measurement – hype? The value of checklists and evaluation: 7 reasons

2 Comments Add your own

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,093 other followers

Categories

Feeds


%d bloggers like this: