Tools for asking questions that clarify your thinking and deepen your understanding.
From the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation: Hiring an External Evaluator
We couldn’t be more grateful to the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation for putting together such an excellent suite of resources for hiring consultants. Of particular usefulness to our potential clients is their guide, “Hiring an External Evaluator.” This guide walks through the processes of preparing for and choosing the right evaluator, as well as how to build a strong partnership. Gems that made our hearts sing include “Being clear and specific about the purpose and audience for your evaluation is one of the most important things you can do,” and “The truth it that there is no one-size-fits-all definition of credible evidence.”
This is a must-read before engaging with us—or any consultant, for that matter.
Survey Platforms Menu
Using the Survey Platforms Menu, users can quickly compare different platforms for collecting survey data—in other words, data collected from a set of specific written questions that don’t require a interviewer. Most of the platforms we include in the menu are for online surveying, in which a user writes the questions, specifies response options, and then sends the survey electronically to respondents; however, this menu also shows options for more specialized systems of surveying:
Mobile Data Collection Systems allow users to work within a networked team of survey administrators, track information about specific cases, and collect data offline for in-the-field surveying.
- Kiosk-Based Survey Platforms are similar to online surveying except that they are designed to work at immobile surveying stations- which can be more advantageous when respondents are all attending the same event (e.g., a conference) and when respondents may not have access to their own computer.
- Live Polling Platforms allow presenters to poll their audiences in real time- and display those results in their presentations- a useful tool for presenters in encouraging audience engagement.
- Finally, Voice/Video Data Collection Systems offer data collection over the phone or via respondent-submitted videos, allowing survey data collection when typical response formats may not be possible or appropriate.
By offering this tool, we hope to expand users’ thinking on survey data collection to encompass a greater variety of options and save users time in finding the survey data collection platform most suited to their needs.
Note that the Survey Platforms Menu is current as of November 2018.
Evaluation Capacity Diagnostic Tool
This Evaluation Capacity Diagnostic Tool is designed to help organizations assess their readiness to take on many types of evaluation activities. It captures information on organizational context and the evaluation experience of staff and can be used in various ways. For example, the tool can pinpoint particularly strong areas of capacity as well as areas for improvement, and can also calibrate changes over time in an organization’s evaluation capacity. In addition, this diagnostic can encourage staff to brainstorm about how their organization can enhance evaluation capacity by building on existing evaluation experience and skills. Finally, the tool can serve as a precursor to evaluation activities with an external evaluation consultant.