For junior as well as seasoned professionals who write Program Evaluation Reports, we recommend these two tips for keeping your work exciting for you and the audiences (whoever they may be).
Tip 1: Review Program Evaluation Reports developed by other groups to borrow from their strengths.
Tip 2: Use free technologies to incorporate infographics and short videos that depict the Findings of the Report.
This blog post is not about How to Do Program Evaluation, but, rather, how to refine your approach to writing Evaluation Reports.
First, review samples from diverse Program Evaluations to identify which you can use as a template for your latest project, borrowing language, framing, and/or lay-out. There is so much to learn from the great works of other groups. Here are some models that we love to use for inspiration:
- Curriculum-based programs
- Job programs
- Employee performance programs
- Conservation programs
- Children or school-based programs
- Mental health programs
For junior professionals, always make sure that you choose samples that
- are easy to understand… The content and lay-out should be readable by a wide audience. Skip past Report samples that are overly academic.
- fit your program type… If the Program Evaluation Report needs to be about a domestic violence prevention program, then look at samples from organizations who specialize in the topic area. Skip past great Report samples from non-adjacent programming like environmental advocacy programs.
- are attractive to you and at least two of your friends… Readers of your Report will appreciate a beautiful product, including a color schema, a flow to the lay-out, fonts that mimic the theme of the colors and lay-out, etc. Get inspiration for this by doing an internet search for key words that represent the design theme that you’re going for such as earthy, chic, innovative, and so on.
As for Tip 2, use free software like Piktocharts to develop infographics that visually represent the Findings of the Report. For example, here are a set of infographics that we recently developed for a client organization, Focus Forward. The infographics represent program outcomes, operational outputs, and trends from comparing different groups of clients. We regularly use Piktocharts and across the last two-years Piktocharts significantly improved the experience for users. We highly recommend this option.
Also, use free video-making technology such as Lumen5 in order to develop a short video representation of the project and Findings. Each Sunday, we send out a Free Bad Ass Tool of the Week. Recently, we featured this software and you should check it out. Also, sign up for our Free Bad Ass Tool of the Week email by going here.
Ultimately, the end product should convey that it was fun to write. As a writer, if you can do this, then the audience will likely have a good time reading and using the content of your Program Evaluation Report.
Why did we develop “2 Tips” videos?
The Anchoring Success team trusts the talent and sophistication of professionals in Human Services and Education organizations. We know that many professionals and organizational leaders do not have the funds to partner with specialists (like us) and/or the time to strategize on what might seem like extra projects.
Therefore, we launched these “2 Tips” videos to support you with making tweaks, adjustments, and refinements in programs and operations — doable for busy professionals in these organizations!