How To Evaluate A Research Program Plan

Posted on: 23 May 2022

In the world of research, program evaluation is important. You need to have a plan for how the research will unfold so you can make the most of available resources. Likewise, you'll need to comply with many laws and industry rules.

You may want to conduct a research consultation, even if you've done tons of work before. A research consultant is likely to recommend these four things.

Establish a Plan Before Starting Any Research

Shoehorning a plan into place after you've begun is a formula for creating a mess. While you may need to write proposals and secure funding before you can fully settle on a plan, it's best to have something in place before you even do those things. That is especially the case if you have secure funding through grant requests or other outside sources. A good program evaluation can assure contributing parties that you'll be a good steward of their investment.

What to Evaluate

Identifying criteria for the project is critical. You need to establish what you're researching so participants can stay on track. This can be helpful especially when there are concerns about how to use funds or resources because the criteria can guide decisions when there are conflicts.

Similarly, a good set of criteria will allow you to determine success levels once you have finished the research. Even if the research on balance fails, you can use the criteria to assess lessons learned through the process.


In program evaluation research, it may be necessary to break your processes into stages. A consultant can help you determine what those stages are. Likewise, they can help you determine the criteria for declaring each stage done. By imposing this sort of structure, you can keep your team on track and avoid getting out in front of problems before sufficient results come in to justify moving to subsequent stages.

Mitigate Influences

One of the biggest reasons to work with a research consultant is to mitigate outside influences. Lots of people and organizations may have a stake in the research. Consequently, you want to mitigate those influences to ensure your process will be as unbiased as possible. A third party can help you to identify potential influences and design parameters for their participation to limit potential problems.

For example, you might need help determining when to release data and findings. It is important to the integrity of the process to not allow interested parties to get ahead of the process. Where necessary, you may need to embargo data and findings until you can compile a clean work product.

For more information, contact a local company, like Research Analytics Consulting, LLC.