Formative Evaluation is an ongoing process that allows for feedback to be implemented during a program cycle. (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2005)
- Concentrates on examining and changing processes as they occur.
- Provides timely feedback about grant services.
- Allows you to make adjustments to your grants “on the fly” to help achieve grant goals.
Formative evaluation will enable you to find out if you are achieving your goals and objectives in the formative stages of your grant, instead of waiting until you have finished your program or project.
Common Elements of a Formative Evaluation
- Strategic Planning of the Grant Program or Project
This may include the facilitation of a needs assessment to determine who needs the grant services, how great the need is, and what might work to meet the need and achieve your desired outcomes.
- Developing the Structured Conceptualization of how the Grant Might Work
Creating an outline of the proposed interventions and scope of your grant will better help your stakeholders to define the specific programs or projects they will be involved with, the target population to be served, and the possible outcomes you collaboratively hope to achieve.
- Implementation of the Grant’s Formative Evaluation Plan
A formative evaluation plan will call for the collection of documents and data as well as the establishment of a system to monitor the fidelity of grant activities and implementation.
- Consideration of using Process Evaluation Methods
Process evaluation investigates the process of delivering the grant activities, including alternative delivery procedures – so you can analyze the data to determine if you are implementing in an effective and/or efficient manner.
- Data Review
The drawing of conclusions based on the data collected via a data driven decision making process. This is best done in hand with stakeholders.
- Continuous Improvement
Redesign your grant implementation methods or the priorities of the grant based on the results through data driven decision making.