Program-Owned Evaluation

Click here to view a more detailed presentation on this topic.

We view evaluation as part of the strategic practice of leadership and management. A manager's craft is strategic. There is a purpose beyond all the doing, and a strategy for moving from activity to a result that is valued.

This perspective we call "program owned evaluation." It is "program-owned" in that the practice is an integral, proactive part of the program manager's leadership and management strategy, not just an external requirement of a funder.

We support program-owned evaluation at several levels.

  • As developers of basic tools. In 2002, we served as lead consultants for development of the Evaluation Toolkit, now being used by grantees of the Equal Access Fund in California. (These tools are available on the Web...See sidebar at right.)
  • As a clearinghouse for information. Bookmark this web page in your browser or contact us when you need information about tools you might find helpful.
  • As a source of benchmark data. We are pioneers in the use of benchmarking for evaluation of civil justice programs. We have a national database of statistics on legal aid cases, staffing, funding and other performance measures from LSC programs going back to 1994 that we apply in evaluating programs and projects for our clients.
  • As evaluation consultants to programs. Legal aid project coordinators often ask The Resource to assist in evaluations of their projects. Click here for examples of successful evaluations we have helped programs to perform at low cost.

Civil justice leaders are finding that evaluation can help them refine their strategies by revealing what's working for clients and what's not. The story they are able to tell funders is, "Here's where a project is successful and here are the improvements we are incorporating to make it work even better in the future."

Resources for Program-Owned Evaluation

  • Our Newsletter
    ...Stories about how legal aid managers are applying evaluation to improve the results they are achieving for clients.
  • The Strategic Scorecard
    ...A powerful tool for assessing one's progress against national benchmarks of program performance.
  • Our Workshops
    ...Hands-on training this Fall in Traverse City or at your site. Contact us for further information.
  • The Evaluation Toolkit
    ...Seven simple tools that legal aid managers can apply themselves, including client satisfaction measures, outcome measures and client follow-up interviews. (Link to external website)
  • Toolkit for evaluating technology apps
    ...Tools developed by the MIE Technology Evaluation Project for evaluating five areas including web sites, advocate workstations, videoconferencing and other technologies. (Link to external website)
  • Ten case studies
    of legal aid leaders who have successfully applied evaluation in their own programs, done by John Tull, John Scanlon and Ken Smith underr the sponsorship of NLADA and the AARP Foundation. (Link to external website)
  • Uses in Marketing
    Powerpoint presentation from our October 2003 workshop outlining how outcomes data can help you tell a powerful story to funders and partners.






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