Adventures In Evaluation Podcast

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Budgeting for Evaluation

November 22nd, 2012

Hi Everyone,

In this episode we discuss budgeting for evaluation along with the following resources:

WMU's Checklist for Developing & Evaluating Evaluation Budgets-by Jerry Horn

The Pell Institute's Evaluation Toolkit

Kellogg Foundation's Evaluation Handbook

The Program Evaluation Standards F4 & P7

Michael Scriven's EVALTALK Comments

Know any others? Leave us a comment below.


James & Kylie


  • Samantha Langan

    Thank you for sharing these resources! I’ve recommended them and your podcast to an evaluation procedures class I am a teaching assistant for. I know I will use these myself, as well.

    Best, Samantha Langan Claremont Graduate University

    Nov 26, 2012 at 12:29 pm
  • adventuresinevaluation

    Thanks for the feedback Samantha! That’s great to hear as I’m a big fan of Claremont! :) cheers, James

    Nov 26, 2012 at 10:01 pm
  • Ed Vine

    I enjoyed your podcast about budgeting for evaluation. Two items: (1) Sometimes one can look at regulatory decisions that state how much should be spent on evaluation. For example, several years ago, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) set aside 8% of utility program budgets for the evaluation of energy efficiency programs. Since the program budget for all of the utilities was about $1 billion per year, that led to a large evaluation budget. More recently, the CPUC has set aside 4% of the utility program budget - still a large amount. (2) Setting the budget in the RFP does reduce a lot of uncertainty for evaluation consultants: they know what the budget is and what can be done for that amount. However, what I have typically found is that the consultants than provide proposals with that budget amount (or a few dollars below that). As a result, price/cost is no longer a factor in evaluating proposals. That may be good or bad, depending on your views. And (3) your discussion of negotiating a budget ahead of the granting of the award to a consultant is excellent advice - both parties can learn and the final evaluation study should benefit. But I hope you did not mislead people in thinking that they can come back later with a revised budget that exceeds the original award. Developing a proper budget is very important; managers of evaluations do NOT want to have their contractor come back to them and ask for more funds for doing the work that they had said that they were going to do.

    Nov 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm
  • adventuresinevaluation

    Point taken Ed, and we definitely don’t want to mislead people. The situation I was referring to is not one where the evaluator comes back begging for more, but one where the project parameters change significantly such that the evaluator feels the client should be aware of additional evaluation options they should be aware of. This has only happened rarely for me personally, but when it did the client was appreciative of being informed and always had the choice to decline.

    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:28 am