How does the program planning and evaluation process provide opportunities for program improvement? How can a program evaluation improve a program? Please consider both the manager and funder perspective as you look for program improvement opportunities.
One might argue that the program planning and evaluation process has as its principal purpose the improvement of programs. Program planning, for example, is a process of identifying a need and a method for addressing or meeting that need, whether it is a social program, an employee training program or other. The actor - society, not-for-profit organization, or business - identifies what outcomes it wants to be working towards, and plots the steps to take towards those outcomes. Program evaluation follows in the same footsteps - identifying and measuring the steps being taken and reflecting back on the original objectives. So program planning is a question of "what do we want to accomplish, and how will we do it?" and program evaluation is a question of "what are we doing, and how (or how well) is it accomplishing our original objective?"
The perspective of the funder in either of these parts of the process is to predict and later discern the effectiveness of the funds recipient in accomplishing the goals or furthering the mission of the funder. The perspective of the manager is to assess and maximize the efficiency ...
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