How to Choose an Evaluator

For many people, evaluation is something to fear or perhaps just tolerated. Many program managers have no idea how to choose an evaluation consultant. What should you look for in an evaluator?

1) Look for someone who is a member of the American Evaluation Association. AEA members subscribe to professional standards with regard to the quality of their work.

2) Look for someone who can “speak” the language of your program and has good oral and written communication skills.

3) Look for someone who has good research skills but who also has the ability to communicate at the grassroots level.

4.) Look for someone who has good technical skills inĀ data managementĀ and data analysis.

5) Look for someone who will work in partnership with program stakeholders to design useful and used evaluations.

Above all, remember YOU are the expert on your program. To have a really useful and used evaluation, you must be a full partner in the process of evaluation. If you are looking for an evaluator to simply write your evaluation report, you will never be satisfied.