The Government Performance and Results Act (GRPA) requires positive accountability for all federal funds.Every federal agency has established specific performance goals for each of its programs. This standard of positive accountability has been passed through to state and local agencies receiving federal funds; it has also been adopted by these state and local agencies to insure that their own monies are expended well. Many private sponsors, especially major foundations, have also embraced positive accountability for their monies. As a result, nearly all grant programs require applications to include Evaluation Plans that provide positive accountability, through measurable goals, and those Evaluation Plans are usually worth a good amount of points in a proposal.Application guidelines offer increasingly specific details on drafting Evaluation Plans, and a wealth of resources is now available online.

Best Practice Tip: Read some abstracts or, if available, proposals of successful applicants the previous year. These abstracts and/or proposals—and the Evaluation Plans within—must have been rated highly by the sponsor.

Here is a sampling of resources from different disciplines because evaluation is often driven by disciplinary conventions and expectations. More help can easily be located online, directly from the potential sponsor, or from your ORSP grant administrator:

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Good General Guidance
Kellogg Foundation: Evaluation Handbook
Kellogg Foundation: Logic Model Development Guide
U.S. Government Accounting Office: Constructing a Logic Model

Agriculture
Logic Model Planning Process: Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Programs

Arts & Humanities
Arts & Humanities Council (UK): Logic Models for Program Planning and Evaluation
National Endowment for the Arts: Measuring Joy

Education
Are You Making Progress?
National Marine Sanctuaries: Education Project Evaluation [Discipline-based evaluation], plus NOAA Logic Model

Health & Human Services
Urban Institute: Candidate Outcome Indicators: Health Risk Reduction Program

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children and Families: Instructional Guide: Creating and Using the Logic Model for Performance Management

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Developing and Using a Logic Model

Library Science
Institute of Museum and Library Science: Transformed from a Cemetery of Bric-A-Brac

Sciences
National Science Foundation Evaluation Resources

National Marine Sanctuaries: Education Project Evaluation [education-based evaluation], plus NOAA Logic Model

National Science Foundation: Evaluation Process: Getting Started

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Administration for Children and Families: Instructional Guide: Creating and Using the Logic Model for Performance Management

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Developing and Using a Logic Model