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10 reasons why evaluations are neglected

by The NonProfit Times - May 10, 2011

Evaluation. The very word gets your juices bubbling, doesn’t it?

If it doesn’t, that’s probably because most organizations miss out on necessary evaluation. Why?

In their book “Evaluation in Organizations,” Darlene Russ-Eft and Hallie Preskill list 10 reasons why organizations do not perform evaluations. In the best traditions of David Letterman, they list them from bottom through top.

10. Organization members misunderstand evaluation’s purpose and role. Many people have not had formal training in evaluation.

9. Organization members fear the impact of evaluation’s findings. They expect to be fired or punished.

8. There is a real or perceived lack of evaluation skills. This is true even where members would like to conduct an evaluation.

7. No one has asked for it. Funders are starting to ask, however.

6. Organization members don’t believe the results will be used; data are collected but not analyzed or utilized. Employees are asked their opinion etc., but never see any result.

5. Organization members view evaluation as time-consuming and laborious. Good evaluation takes time and energy but need not last months.

4. The perceived costs of evaluation outweigh the perceived benefits. This perception is related to time involved.

3. Organizational leaders think they already know what does and does not work. How accurate is this belief?

2. Previous experiences with evaluations have been either disastrous or disappointing. This could be linked to broken promises or blatant misuse of data.

1. Organization members don’t value evaluation. This is the aggregate of the others.

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