Lesson 2: Program Evaluation

In this lesson we'll dig a little deeper into program evaluation. As an environmental educator, there may be times when you need to evaluate a program or a project. In many cases, funders will want to know how you have measured impact and what you learned. You might also need to show your supervisor or board that what you’re doing is achieving your program goals. And even if no one is asking for an evaluation, you probably want to know what’s working and how you can improve your programs in the future. In some cases, you might want to use a professional evaluator. Other times, you and your team might gather data to look at program impact. 

In thinking about evaluation, a number of voices in this module emphasize the important of evaluative thinking. Rather than just asking questions about what happened at the end of a program, evaluative thinking involves exploring our desired impact - and how we could measure it - from the very beginning of designing an EE program. A culture of evaluation at an organization also means allocating time and resources for monitoring and evaluation, whether for a single program, the entire organization, or even a network.

First, a short animation: Don't Fear Evaluation!