Evaluation: Product and Process Analysis

Grant Application Training

Evaluation: Product and Process Analysis

The evaluation component is two-fold: (1) product evaluation; and (2)
process evaluation. Product evaluation addresses results that can be
attributed to the project, as well as the extent to which the project
has satisfied its desired objectives. Process evaluation addresses how
the project was conducted, in terms of consistency with the stated plan
of action and the effectiveness of thevarious activities within the

Most Federal agencies now require some form of program evaluation
among grantees. The requirements of the proposed project should be
explored carefully. Evaluations may be conducted by an internal staff
member, an evaluation firm or both. The applicant should state the
amount of time needed to evaluate, how the feedback will be distributed
among the proposed staff, and a schedule for review and comment for this
type of communication. Evaluation designs may start at the beginning,
middle or end of a project, but the applicant should specify a start-up
time. It is practical to submit an evaluation design at the start of a
project for two reasons:

  1. Convincing evaluations require the collection of appropriate data before and during program operations; and,
  2. If the evaluation design cannot be prepared at the outset then a critical review of the program design may be advisable.

Even if the evaluation design has to be revised as the project
progresses, it is much easier and cheaper to modify a good design. If
the problem is not well defined and carefully analyzed for cause and
effect relationships then a good evaluation design may be difficult to
achieve. Sometimes a pilot study is needed to begin the identification
of facts and relationships. Often a thorough literature search may be

Evaluation requires both coordination and agreement among program
decision makers (if known). Above all, the Federal grantor agency’s
requirements should be highlighted in the evaluation design. Also,
Federal grantor agencies may require specific evaluation techniques such
as designated data formats (an existing information collection system)
or they may offer financial inducements for voluntary participation in a
national evaluation study. The applicant should ask specifically about
these points. Also, consult the Criteria for Selecting Proposals section
of the Catalog program description to determine the exact evaluation
methods to be required for the program if funded.

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