What difference does your program make in the lives of youth? This section will introduce the steps involved in designing and executing an evaluation that can measure some of the positive changes you make in the lives of your participants. There are resources and examples in this section for both longer-term, more in-depth programs and short-term or one-time experience programs.
You might have different purposes in mind for your evaluation, including helping determine if you are achieving your mission, clarifying how you impact youth, facilitating continuous program improvement, providing accountability and assisting with communication and fundraising efforts.
An effective evaluation is based on a solid understanding of the connection between what you DO (your program activities) and what you CAUSE TO HAPPEN (your program outcomes). A theory of change that helps clarify that connection is an important foundation step to a successful evaluation.