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Do I Need an External Evaluator?

In the last section, we discussed the stages of an evaluation study and what kinds of decisions and activities are involved in each stage. At some point before beginning an evaluation, you will need to decide whether you (or your agency) have sufficient resources to carry out all of these activities without outside help. This decision should be made with great care, since it can greatly affect the success of your efforts and the quality of the research that is ultimately conducted.

You may find it feasible to conduct your own evaluation if you have a sufficient number of staff trained in relevant areas of evaluation (e.g., instrument design, survey administration, statistical analysis) and can afford to commit these staff to the project. Otherwise, it is appropriate to hire an external evaluator to conduct part or all of the planning, data collection, and data analysis.

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