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