Program Evaluation: Informed Decisions

Evaluation activities support decision-making that can contribute to efficient and effective management of programs. Evaluative information should be available to inform decisions made during the critical planning, budgeting, analysis, implementation, and benefits reporting/ communications cycles of the program. Program evaluation can provide essential information to inform revisions to strategic goals, resource allocation decisions, and program modification and redesign decisions. Several examples are provided below.

Decisions to make program improvements (e.g., modifications, redesign):

  • Whether to modify or make timely adjustments to the program design or implementation to improve the rate, or quality, of program achievement relative to the resources committed.
  • Decide how best to improve program operations (e.g., increase efficiency of operations via streamlining, refining, or redesigning).
  • Decide whether new technologies or efficiency practices should be added to the program.

Decisions to revise program goals and strategy:

  • Adjust program goals or objectives; revise objectives to make them more realistic.
  • Target new or different markets, customers, or business organizations and allies.

Resource allocation decisions:

  • Decide how to fund and allocate, or reallocate program resources to best achieve program research, or serve key markets and intended customers.
  • Eliminate activities that have proven ineffective and drop delivery components determined to not be cost-effective.
  • Decide on whether to continue program elements or the program and at what level of effort, including replicating program components found to be most cost-effective.
  • Hold / suspend an activity for a period of time to re-evaluate

Decisions to communicate program strategy and value:

  • Decide to incorporate evaluation results data into the overall communication effort, such as to support the organization's "brand" messaging and its communication of value proposition to appropriators, stakeholders, and others.