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At some point in their history most organizations will have the occasion for evaluation—either compelled by a sponsor or some internal circumstance—and view it perhaps as a necessary evil.  No one likes to be evaluated and this is no less true for an organization than an individual, let alone by an outside party.  You may feel too, that an evaluation will not be able to measure or capture the true success of your program—evidence which you have seen with your own eyes for years.  No doubt you can cite dozens of anecdotal incidences, and this is all good and well until you take someone else’s money.  

Fair or not, sponsors typically want to see some type of hard evidence of a program’s success: data acquired via quantitative research methods, such as surveys or tests.  And whether your program is new or been in operation for years, this can seem a bit scary, inappropriate even.  How can the success of our program be measured this way? you may ask. We know it works, you contend; and its success cannot be demonstrated by counting noses.


Not to worry.  SSI has evaluated countless programs just like yours—and all with positive results (see Programs).

We are equally sensitive to the needs of sponsors and clients, and to satisfy both employ mixed-methods evaluations that incorporate quantitative and qualitative methods.

In this way, the success of the program is not dependent on any one method; hard data is, and must be, supported and corroborated by less quantifiable means: evidence obtained through case study, ethnographic study, interview, focus group, observation, etc.  

More importantly, SSI works closely and collaboratively with clients: you are an integral part of evaluation design, and it is your input that will help capture your program’s unique value as well as its efficacy.   ______________________________________________________________________


Here's how it works: first, SSI meets with you and is advised of your program’s goals and anticipated outcomes; we also get a feel for your organization: its mission and vision and accomplishments, as well as information about other services and programs you offer. Then we do our homework. After a thorough review of your proposal (if your program is funded by a sponsor), and of successful programs similar to yours, we submit an evaluation proposal (usually within a week’s time).

The evaluation will be designed to measure the success of your program and match your organization’s resources (the funds you have available for the evaluation). The evaluation proposal will outline: 1) the way in which we will examine your program’s outcomes (Evaluation Design); 2) the type of studies we will employ to execute the design (Evaluation Studies); 3) how we will collect the data (Data Collection); 4) with what type of instruments (Instrumentation); 5) how we will analyze the data (Data Analysis); and 6) how we will report the findings (Reporting).  

After you have had time to review the proposal, we will meet with you again to negotiate finer design points and deliverables. If there are no modifications, you will sign-off on the evaluation and we will get started—otherwise the design will be modified.  We will also meet with your sponsor as needed.

Throughout the evaluation period, SSI will keep in close contact and keep you abreast of any developments—there will be no surprises.  If there is room for improvement, you will have ample opportunity to modify your program before the final results are in.  Final Reports will be sympathetic to your program and highlight strengths as well as offer useful suggestions for areas in need of enhancement.  And, should you require hand-holding, SSI will gladly provide it. 

Let SSI begin working with you today—your program deserves to be seen in the best possible light.