Clearinghouse Resource


Why Conduct A Program Evaluation? Five Reasons Why Evaluation Can Help an Out-of-School Time Program


Metz, Allison J.R.


Child Trends

Source Information (Journal Title, Date, Length)

October 2007, 4 pages

Description of Resource

Presents five reasons why managers of out-of-school-time programs can be helped by evaluations designed to strengthen their programs and improve the end result for children. An evaluation needs to be defined in terms of process and outcomes. The most common concerns expressed by managers about program evaluations include diversion of resources, complication of evaluations, additional burdens on staff, and possible negative results. The five reasons described that show managers the positive benefits of evaluation are: (1) determining what works vs. what doesn't; (2) showcasing the program to the community and funders; (3) improving staff practices with participants; (4) increasing capacity for self-assessment and future planning; and (5) building knowledge of out-of-school time. When the evaluation process is embraced, it can provide important information for start-up programs and serve as a tool to improve established programs.