Your project or organization may decide to hire an external evaluator if existing staff lack the time, skills, or expertise to do the evaluation. You will benefit most from your partnership with an external evaluator if you are willing to commit staff time and resources to the process. To begin, there are two critical questions you should ask:
- What do you want to learn from the evaluation?
- Who will use the information and how?
A professional evaluator can collaborate with you to help answer these questions. A very useful blog post by Brad Rose Consulting contains other suggestions to consider in preparation for working with an evaluator.
Finding an evaluator
One of the best ways to find an evaluator is to ask trusted colleagues. The American Evaluation Association (AEA) is a good source for identifying evaluators in your geographic area or with the expertise you need. AEA also developed the Guiding Principles for Evaluators to help guide the professional practice of evaluators and to inform evaluation clients about the principles they can expect to be upheld by professional evaluators.
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