First, a written evaluation plan fosters program transparency to both the decision makers and stakeholders (Green & South, 2006). When an organization puts the plan in writing, it shows that the process is transparent, and stakeholders agree on the goals set for the program and evaluation. Second, it helps to identify the availability of resources and time that will help to accomplish the desired evaluation activities and answer the necessary questions (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d). Besides, the stakeholders can use the evaluation plan to develop a realistic timeline that will aid to determine the time to carry out an evaluation. Third, a written evaluation plan helps to connect multiple evaluation activities. In a situation when the program uses different contracts or contractors, the evaluation plan would be useful to synthesize the evaluation process across the various activities. Fourth, the evaluation plan aids to predict potential challenges upfront and avoid mistakes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d). For instance, an organization’s evaluation plan should be in a position to communicate the potential limitations to the evaluation and state the strategies that would help address those challenges. Fifth, if applicable, it is used to portray a written understanding between the grantee and external evaluator. On the same note, although the evaluation plan is not a formal contract, it provides the chance for the grantee to elucidate their expectations.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d). Developing an Effective Evaluation Plan. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/downloads/cdc-evaluation-workbook-508.pdf
Green, J., & South, J. (2006). Evaluation. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
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