Action Steps outline exact activities necessary to achieve the objective, listing the tasks, responsible person/s and the dates steps will be completed.
Benchmarks are performance data used for comparative purposes. A program can use its own data as a baseline benchmark against which to compare future performance or it can use data from another similar program.
Best Practices includes practices that enhance the ability of the voluntary organization to meet its mandate efficiently and effectively and identifies another organization (or unit within its own organization) that has achieved better results and conducts a systematic study of the other organization’s achievements and practices.
Capacity Building is based on the belief that within any community there are individuals, groups and organizations with the abilities, skills and resources to respond creatively and effectively to local problems and challenges.
Case Studies are used to collect in-depth information about the experiences of a program on a single participant or site.
Convening is an activity that brings people together; creating environments in which people can share information and options respectfully.
Evaluation encompasses activities that enable judgment of the worth or merit of an evaluation object such as programs, policies, organizations, products or individuals.
Focus Groups are group discussions used for encouraging a group of people to share their feelings and perceptions.
Formative Evaluation helps with both the development of a project and adjustments and improvements to the project as it is implemented and includes information related to how well the project is designed, planned and operating.
Goals descend from and are validated by the vision; summarize the major accomplishments the organization hopes to achieve in order to realize its vision and fulfill its mission; are general and not quantifiable, can be short or long term.
Indicators are specific items of information that track a program’s success.
Interviews are telephone or face-to-face discussions with an individual respondent or a group of people.
Mission describes why the organization exists; summarizes what the organization does, for whom and the benefits/contribution to society.
Objectives support the goals and provides more details as to “who will do what by when”; SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented and Time-determined.
Outcome Measurement is a process of regular monitoring of the results of a program for its participants or organization against agreed-upon goals and objectives.
Process Evaluation is an example of formative evaluation - used to determine if a program is reaching the desired target group and if it is being delivered in the way it was planned.
Qualitative Data records, observes and typically asks open-ended questions to which the answers are not limited by a set of choices or a scale. Qualitative data are more time-consuming to analyze than quantitative data.
Quantitative Data captures information that is numeric including variables like personal income, amount of time or a rating of an opinion on a scale from 1 – 5.
Questionnaires and Surveys is a uniform written tool completed by a group of respondents that is useful in gathering focused, limited information. Questions can range from being close-ended (for limited and easy-to-analyze responses), to open-ended (with room for a variety and explanation of responses).
Random Sampling is a process by which people in a sample are chosen at random from a given population. For example, everyone in the population of 100 people can be assigned a unique number, then the numbers are put in a hat, and 40 numbers are drawn to choose 40 people to be in that sample.
Sample is a number of people in a population from whom you should collect information in order to generalize about that population with some degree of accuracy.
Social Capital are relationships that link us to others (community activities, clubs, neighborhood associations and other less formal networks) and that create our sense of belonging to a community; the glue that holds communities together.
Stakeholders are individuals or groups that have a stake in the success of the organization and should play a role in it.
Summative Evaluation provides summary information about the outcomes or results of a project after activities or services have been operating for some time.
Vision inspires and directs all aspects of the organization guided by dreams, not constraints; describes what the organization hopes will happen if dreams are realized; the force that results in engagement of donors, volunteers and others.