Grant Applicants - Program Guidelines

Evaluating Your Project

Your proposed plan for tracking and measuring your success in achieving your intended results is a significant element in the review process. You should include specific and sufficient resources dedicated to evaluation activities in your detailed work plan, project budget, and schedule of completion. Examples of relevant costs associated with evaluation include payments for consultants or qualified project staff, development of effective instruments, information collection, and analysis of project data. Include the costs of evaluation, reporting, and sharing project results in your project budget. You may budget any of these as grant funds or as cost share. Keep in mind that effective evaluation strategies often use multiple techniques not just to measure and analyze final project outputs and outcomes but also to inform and help shape your project design as the project progresses.

Your evaluation plan should

  • clearly link the performance goal(s) stated in your proposal and the outcomes you intend to measure to the program/project you are proposing,
  • identify the primary beneficiaries (people or organizations) of the project and the methodology for collecting outcome information from them (if applicable)
  • explain how things will be different as a consequence of this project and what data you will collect to determine whether or not these changes occurred
  • indicate the methods you will use to analyze your data and to judge the overall effectiveness of the project
  • describe the qualifications of staff and consultants involved in evaluation activities,
  • include all plans you have to monitor the project’s effectiveness on an ongoing basis so that you can make needed midcourse corrections
  • describe how you intend to use the evaluation results and how they may affect long-term program planning
  • describe how you will share the evaluation results with people and organizations outside your organization

Your proposal narrative should address as many of these points as possible. If you do not have all this information at the time you submit your application, your proposal should explain how you will obtain it if the project is funded by IMLS.