This course introduces the terminology, critical issues, and current debates in the field of evaluation, as reflected in evaluation theories and practice. The course teaches the skills necessary to design Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning plans that reflect varying purposes, fields, and contexts. Students learn how to develop Program Theories of Change Models, Evaluation Logic Models, and Evaluation Statements of Work, three documents important to Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning. Students partner with organizations they identify to plan an evaluation, including articulating the purpose of the evaluation; crafting evaluation questions; setting outcomes and indicators; and proposing data collection and analysis plans.
Sample assignments and projects include:
- Analyze the needs and program theory of change for an initiative as described in an evaluation report.
- Logic model narrative summary
- Addressing causal mechanisms
- Identifying a performance evaluation approach
- Identifying an Impact Evaluation Approach
- Statement of Work (SOW) development
Upon completing this course, you should be able to:
- Discuss the importance of program theory of change.
- Discuss how and why needs assessments are conducted.
- Explain how a program theory of change is encapsulated into a logical framework.
- Explain how qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches provide different types of data, show causal mechanisms, and provide different viewpoints on program objectives.
- Explain the relationship between M&E criteria and causal mechanisms.
- Discuss a logic model 's significance as it relates to the monitoring and evaluation of projects.
- Identify different types of performance evaluation.
- Describe what kind of data are needed for different sorts of impact evaluation.
- Identify the components in an Evaluation Statement of Work.
Click here for the official course description from the American University Catalog.
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