What we do
Our evaluation group works with project teams to inform and strengthen initiatives. Through evaluating the effectiveness of project activities and identifying areas for improvement, we work together with project teams to enhance participant experiences and outcomes.
Evaluation services during the proposal development phase are provided free of charge for NAU PIs. Evaluation services for funded grants are part of a service center and have associated fees and rates. Rates are available upon request. Contact us to discuss our availability and fit with your project’s needs.
How we work with project teams Accordion Closed
We serve as independent evaluators for externally funded sponsored projects, and also provide evaluation consulting and support to campus affiliates for early project ideas or for internal efforts.
- We begin our work early in the proposal development phase by collaborating with project teams to identify project objectives and expected outputs and outcomes, using logic models and other visual planning tools. In addition to presenting the conceptual basis for the project and the evaluation plan, logic models can help project teams identify if they are using sound “logic”, that proposed activities will lead to short-term and long-term expected participant outcomes.
- Next we develop and write appropriate data collection strategies and evaluation plans that are aligned with the project needs and funder requirements from the request for proposals. Often, evaluation plans will include both formative and summative components to monitor project progress, track and measure outputs and outcomes, and provide evidence-based areas for improvement.
- Once proposals are funded, we implement proposed plans, and share findings regularly with project teams to inform and improve programming, and to gauge the impact of project initiatives.
- We communicate findings with the funder through annual reports, and with project participants, project teams and advisory boards through presentations and discussions about project data.
Why evaluate? Accordion Closed
Systematic evaluation helps to make programs better, by focusing on collecting data and other information to inform projects in real-time about what works, what does not work, and why. Federal and state agencies, foundations, and nonprofits are more likely to support proposals with well-developed evaluation plans. Proposals that include qualified, independent evaluators and robust evaluation methods communicate to program officers and review committees that the project team is committed to utilizing data to improve programs or projects (formative evaluation) as well as identifying credible and objective end-of-project findings (summative evaluation).