Many grant making agencies are awarding huge amounts of money for grantees to evaluate and assess agency initiatives and programs. Many times grantees are evaluating other grantee programs. Also, since the evaluations are being conducted with grant money, any evaluation reports become part of grant files and are poorly circulated or distributed to stakeholders.
I suggest we keep program evaluation in house by allocating some of the money that was going out the door to stay inside the agency to allow designated offices (already in existence that perform compliance and performance reviews) to complete program evaluations/assessments. When needed, subject matter experts can be contracted in for specific projects.
By having designated offices to conduct full program performance assessments and evaluations, we will save money that is going out the door to grantees, we will have centralized locations for evaluation reports allowing more effective distribution, and every agency will be better informed as to what programs really are working and which ones are in dire need of change. In the current economic times with a focus on evidence based practices, it will be easier to allocate money to programs we really know are working that are backed by hard evaluation data.