It includes key elements that cover evaluation fundamentals and describes expectations specific to SWA evaluation efforts. Designed to provide a broad-based perspective, the toolkit maximizes usability of each of the sections with short key highlights noted in text boxes, evaluation and research planning tips, sources with relevant workforce evaluations and research studies, and notable evaluation resources and references; as well as, several examples or models of other useful tools. The following outline describes the toolkit by section:
- Section 1 provides an overview of evaluation purposes and key concepts, including differences between program performance, program monitoring, program research, and program evaluation. Section 1 also maps out the additional sections of the toolkit.
- Section 2 describes DOL-ETA evaluation policy, evaluation plans and research learning agendas; it presents to broaden state research and evaluation activities that include building relations, levering existing funding sources, expanding staff skills and capacity, using and sharing administrative data, and leveraging and integrating of data.
- Section 3 outlines the types of evaluation, provides key considerations for evaluation designs, and reviews key elements for developing a timeline for an evaluation project to use under which circumstances.
- Section 4 delves into implementing evaluation activities, evaluation design reports, and data analysis plans; protecting participant data; and presenting interim and final study findings.
- Section 5 describes the processes and steps to consider when selecting an evaluator—from utilizing in-house staff to using external partners, such as institutions of higher education or contracted third party research firms.
- Section 6 covers factors to consider when determining who may conduct the evaluation.
- The Appendices include a table that delineates the differences between performance Research, and Evaluation. Other appendices include 13 different sets of resources and references to use for evaluation designs, a template to assess stateworkforce agency evaluation capacity, an example of the learning agenda process a Logic Model template, and a glossary of the most common evaluation terms.