Let’s look at the first possibility: You realize that your program was implemented as designed and your objectives were achieved. This scenario is ideal.
How should Darcy respond? She might want to consider hiring an evaluator. Because Darcy has chosen an evidence-based program and has performed quality performance measurement, it is reasonable to assume that her program has been a success. However, in order to empirically (i.e. scientifically) demonstrate that the mentoring program actually caused the positive changes in participating youth, she will need to hire an evaluator and establish that program activities actually caused the outcomes.
Remember, evaluation and performance measurement both:
- Focus on program performance
- Can be used for monitoring and improvement
- Generate evaluative information
… But evaluation takes performance measurement a step further, and determines whether the outcomes of a program can be attributed to the program or other factors.
Let’s take a look at the other scenarios.