Inspiring People. Growing Organizations. Strengthening Communities.

Evaluator Responsibilities and Client Responsibilities

What are your responsibilities?

FC follows the AEA Guiding Prinicples for Evaluators and the African Evaluation Guidelines in the African context. The purpose of program evaluation is to improve the program’s impact and efficacy. We will notice the strengths of your work, but also some weaknesses. It’s not a punishment; it’s the first step towards flying to great heights!

What are my responsibilities?

FC expects clients to: maintain timely and open communication with us, interact with honesty and integrity, and be open to collaborating to find solutions where no immediate solution is evident. Once we enter into contract, FC assumes you are willing to embrace the feedback you gain about program challenges and strengths. With mutual honesty, humility, courage, and trust we overcome the challenges so you become a success story on the forefront of your field.

How We Work

I don't have funding

I Don't Have Funding
Writing a proposal together

How do we start?

If you don’t have funding, we can work together in one of two ways: you can hire FC to write your proposal, or you can write your proposal and FC will write the evaluation section. In the latter case, FC will require you sign a MOU that states that we will work together once you obtain the funding. Whether FC writes the whole proposal or just the evaluation section, we will need to create the framework and the indicators together. These are tools for organization and program growth and also accountability. You don’t want to be held to standards of accountability you didn’t create just to rush to submit a proposal.

Choosing the framework

Why do I want to do the research or evaluation?

There are many different types of research and evaluation: exploratory, confirmatory, summative, formative, outcome, developmental, qualitative, quantitative, mixed-methods, transformative, collaborative, critical, empowerment, gender responsive, equity-focused, etc. FC can assist you in each of these frameworks, but we will need to assess and select together which one best suits your needs.

From research questions to indicators

What do I want to find out?

Once we’ve decided what is the overall purpose of the research or evaluation, we need to get more specific about what we want to find out. Formulating research questions does this. For evaluations we will also need to create program goals, objectives, and indicators. Once we get this information from you, FC can just leave you alone and write!

Getting funding

We got funding. Now what?

Congratulations! You’ve gotten the funding you sought. It’s now time to set up a process that will ensure you’re on the way to achieving the goals that are important to you. Click here for a layout of that process.

I do have funding

I Do Have Funding
Choosing the Framework and Creating Indicators

How do we start?

If you already have funding, you may already have a framework and a list of indicators in your grant. If you do, share them with FC. If you don’t, we’ll have to create them. See the two sections above for further details.

Selecting tools

What tools will I use to find out what I want to know?

Once we know the specific layout of what you want to know, FC can choose (or we can choose collaboratively) how to collect information. Each method has its strengths and weaknesses. Long interviews are great for capturing stories, but take time to analyze. Surveys are relatively quick to analyze but will not provide you with the flavor of someone’s personal experience. There are many other options: focus groups, concept maps, databases, content analysis, case studies, harvesting meeting time, and document review. We will choose a combination of methods to suit your research priorities and your pocket.

Developing a plan

How and when will I go about collecting the information?

FC will create an evaluation plan that facilitates shared understanding of the direct connections between the goals and objectives of the program, the logic of its implementation (logic model, logframe, or theory of change), and the information that we choose to collect. The plan will also clarify the responsibilities and deadlines of each task.

Distribution of Evaluation Time

How often am I working on this?

Along with the plan, FC will create a GANT chart or a timeline of the evaluation activities. More likely than not, the evaluation activities will be more intense in certain program implementation phases  (beginning, middle, or end of program). Downtimes in data collection are the opportunity for your program to perfect its implementation so that later results may show positive changes.

Data collection

I’m listening.

At this point your research and evaluation consultant or team are on the field collecting information. It is time to listen. If you choose to, your plan can include a data results simulation so your team can engage in the creation of strategic questions by looking first at fake results. This clarifies the use of data to the implementation team without the pressure of the real data.

Data analysis

What does the information say?

Whether it’s making sense of personal stories or quantatative datsets, this is the time when your consultant or team is making sense of the information collected. If your organization has time constraints or wants to participate, you may ask for a presentation of preliminary results.

Reporting

What did I learn? What worked? What didn’t?

A report is the presentation of results and recommendations: it may be a paper report, but may also be a poster or a presentation. Select the type of reporting that most suits your needs and resources. Consider having a different reporting system for your different stakeholder needs.

Follow-up

What changes will I make? What difference does it make?

Over the years I’ve come to see this as the most important stage of the research or evaluation. We’ll spend time together discussing report results and establishing a plan to either implement its recommendations or facilitate conversations among stakeholders to identify implementation strategies. We will also plan how you will disseminate the information you gained.

Rita Fierro at the helm of Fierro Consulting
Eval World cafe in Gambella, Ethiopia

From Our Clients

'Warmth, professionalism'

“I found Dr. Fierro to be professional and thorough and she certainly provided more than we had expected in terms of deliverables. Even when her report was critical of the performance on the grant she gave suggestions on how we could achieve better outcomes and her advice will be taken into consideration as we plan for our next grant cycle. I enjoyed her warmth, professionalism, and willingness to go above and beyond.”

— Khadijat K. Rashid, Ph.D, Gallaudet University