What to be avoided when writing evaluation reports

March 24, 2009 at 10:10 am 2 comments

I’ve written previously about what is recommend in putting together a *good* evaluation report.

I came across an interesting fact sheet from the Bruner Foundation  on “Using evaluation findings (pdf)”.  On page three the authors list eight points to be avoided in writing evaluation reports, sumarised as follows:

1. Avoid including response rates and problems with your methodology as part of your findings.

2. Avoid reporting both numbers and percents unless one is needed to make the other clear.

3. Avoid listing in a sentence or a table, all of the response choices for every question on a survey or record review protocol.

4. Avoid reporting your results with excessive precision.

5. Avoid feeling compelled to keep your results in the same order as they appeared on the survey or the interview protocol.

6. Avoid compartmentalizing your results.

7. Avoid feeling compelled to use all of the information you collected.

8. Avoid including any action steps or conclusions that are not clearly developed from your findings.

View the fact sheet (pdf)

Entry filed under: Evaluation reporting, Evaluation use.

Evaluation Professional Development Course on the “Concept Mapping” Method – 18 & 19 June 2009 11 hints for a successful evaluation

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Dale Watts  |  March 26, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    I like your list and feel it would apply in most situations, but feel that an additional driver in the construction of any report should be an understanding of how key audiences will use the report for decision-making. Too often, a standard reporting approach trumps the best audience-focused communication. There is often value in consistency of reporting format for a specific client, but different clients may at times require different reporting styles.

  • 2. Glenn  |  April 1, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Thanks Dale, I couldn’t agree more, the report design needs to be shaped by how the client will use it – length, writing style, type of recommendations and format all need to be considered from the client’s point of view.



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