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Program Evaluation

Measuring to succeed

Indigenous organizations and communities must manage their own programs and activities. And they must define success for those programs and activities in their own terms. As in any organization, Indigenous leaders are accountable to their members, stakeholders and funders for how program resources are spent and whether the desired results are being achieved.

But you can’t be accountable if you don’t measure your results, and you can’t measure your results if you don’t have good indicators and objectives.

PMC will help you measure and evaluate—to see and understand the results of your efforts. We will help you define success.

Why evaluate?

On a simple level, we evaluate every time we choose between two beverages, two loaves of bread, two books….

But as the stakes get higher, it is important to be systematic, to plan our evaluations. Because people will ask. And they have a right to answers.

It’s all about what you measure. Without a systematic approach, we tend to measure inputs (the resources your programs consume) or outputs (the goods or services your programs produce.) But you didn’t create these programs to consume resources or produce goods and services. You established these programs to change the way the story ends.

Evaluation looks at the whole story:

  • What did we want to change?
  • Did we describe the initial problem in a measurable way?
  • What measurable outcomes did we see as a result of our activity?
  • Was it the ending we hoped for?

You can’t measure everything. Decide what matters—what you want to change—and measure that.

PMC can help you plan and execute an outcomes-based evaluation program that will tell you if your activities are generating the results you intended and may suggest ways to make your program more effective.