Tuesday, March 3, 2009

MESI Wrap-up: Utilization-Focused Evaluation

The session "Utilization-Focused Evaluation: New Directions" was led by Michael Patton, author of Utilization-Focused Evaluation.

The goal of utilization-focused evaluation is to enhance the utility and actual use of evaluations. So, you should identify the primary intended users and make sure the evaluation will be useful to them. Patton believes that no evaluation should go forward unless and until there are primary intended users who will use the information that can be produced. The primary intended users also need to be involved in the process, and the evaluator's job is to help intended users clarify their purpose and objectives.

When using utilization-focused evaluation, you need to make sure you match the evaluation design to the evaluation's purpose, resources, and timeline to optimize use.