Incorporating Evaluation into Your Project Proposal
We expect your application budget to include specific and sufficient resources for project evaluation, and we expect you to use interim findings to strengthen project results. Your proposed plan for project evaluation is a significant element in the review process.
We promote outcomes-based planning and evaluation as one important way for museums and libraries to measure results. For projects that intend to effect changes in behavior or knowledge, whether for professional peers or end users, you should identify your specific audiences and say how the project will objectively and concretely measure outcomes.
We expect you to include the costs of evaluation, reporting, and dissemination in your project budget. Associated costs may be for consultants or staff, development of instruments, information collection, and/or analysis. You may budget any of these as direct costs or as cost share.
In the application narrative, you should demonstrate that the project plan and evaluation design will enable you to provide the data and analysis necessary to meet the requirements of the final report.
At the end of each project, we require you to submit a final narrative performance report that documents the project’s goals and design and provides a project analysis. The report must include quantitative information on project activities and audiences reached. It must also contain quantitative and qualitative data that summarize lessons learned and document project achievements; outcomes; and, if applicable, large-scale or long-term results that affect one or more institutions, communities, or fields. Click here to see the final report form and click here for a glossary of key reporting terms.
What are some resources for conducting project evaluation?
In cooperation with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), we have supported Shaping Outcomes, an online course on outcomes-based planning and evaluation (OBPE), which can help applicants improve program design and evaluation. Click here to learn more about Shaping Outcomes. This resource
- provides an online curriculum in OBPE,
- is designed for library and museum professionals as well as students in these fields,
- teaches the concepts and vocabulary of OBPE, and
- helps applicants develop the skills necessary for producing a logic model using OBPE.