Mapping the Phases of an evaluation

by Mar 8, 2018

I think I have read somewhere that Michael Scriven defined Evaluation phases as four: Design, Data collection, Analysis and Judgement as (1990?, 2000?). However, ever since, I always think about those phases (like I used in my Meta-evaluation Dashboard).

When thinking about these phases , one would think that they are linear and consecutive:

But in reality, that is rarely the case. So I decided to start visually playing with the different evaluation phases.

The first iteration made me realize how at least 2 or 3 of those phases happen repeatedly at the different evaluation stages: you collect, analyze and start preliminary judging while you start thinking of the evaluation design; when you start preparing, you go to the field and you continue collecting data, and at some point you finalize the design and start the analysis; finally, once the field phase is finished, you continue analyzing and judging (and sometimes you still need to collect complementary data) when you work on the results and the report:

Then I thought that, in reality, you are collecting data all the time. At least, until late in the process. You start reading documents, exchanging emails, interviewing the commissioners and other stakeholders, before you start thinking of any design choices. By the time you start having information, you immediatly start previous analysis. And the phases are in reality quite continuous:

And here is the same idea, just spelling out the different phases as, in my experience, they organically happen:

Hope this is useful. And if you know about the source of when these phases were defined, please reach out! Cheers.

New posts coming up:

(published every two weeks-ish 🙂 )

  • ToCs series
  • Visual summary of impact designs
  • Visual summaries of other criteria designs
  • Ideas to make Bibliographies more informative
  • Ways of mapping beneficiaries
  • My favorite pre-attentive features
  • Ideas for reports (series)
  • Some day: iterations with the Periodic Table of Evaluation

And more!

Stay tuned! 🙂

You want to see more Visuals?