This resource is designed to help you develop an evaluation report that reflects your evaluation journey – why you conducted the evaluation, who was involved, how it was implemented, and what you learned.
Evaluation reports are a useful way to describe program successes, as well as areas in need of improvement. When data is communicated well, it can be used to maintain current support, garner new backing, and apply for additional funding. The information in the report should be clear and understandable to those not directly involved in program implementation. The following is a suggested outline for organizing and presenting evaluation findings.
Front Cover - Make sure that your cover looks neat and professional—this is the first thing readers will see. The cover should include: title and location of your program or initiative; name(s) of evaluator(s); period covered by the report; and date of the report.
Executive Summary - Outline major findings and recommendations in a brief (two- to three-page) overview. Since many people only read the executive summary (and ignore the rest of the report,) be sure it is as clear and complete as possible. Describe:
Background Information About the Program – Assume readers know nothing about your program. With that in mind, include:
Description of the Evaluation - Explain why you conducted the evaluation and what you hoped to learn from it. Also explain anything the evaluation was not intended to do (e.g., if it was a process evaluation, it was not meant to assess program effectiveness.) Include:
Evaluation Results - Present your findings. To be complete, include:
Discussion of Results - Assign meaning to your results and place them in the context of your overall initiative. These are some questions this section might answer:
Costs and Benefits –Justify your program’s budget and financial choices (optional.) It may include:
Conclusions – Make your recommendations. After writing this entire report, you may be tempted to dash off a brief conclusion. Resist the temptation! Take your time and think through what you say. Include:
Adapted from Hampton, C. (2002). Communicating Information to Funders for Support and Accountability. University of Kansas: Community Toolbox. Retrieved May 12, 2003 at http://ctb.ku.edu/en/table-of-contents/evaluate/evaluation-to-understand-and-improve/funder-support-accountability/tools .