Evaluation on a Shoestring

Non-profit organizations have been coming up with a variety of ways to conduct evaluation work with less resources. Conducting evaluation work on a budget can mean different things, such as reducing the budget for an external evaluation or having no budget to contract externally but having access to advice for quality assurance. Whatever your budget, here are 3 tips on how evaluation work can be done more cost-effectively:

  1. Focus your evaluation questions. Select a small number of clear, useful and answerable questions to guide your work.
  2. Dig deep to see if data is already available. Explore past surveys or research that your organization has conducted to see if previously collected data can be used for the current evaluation work. 
  3. Rather than investing time in writing a lengthy, formal evaluation report, consider developing a eye-catching 2 – 3 page summary of the results. Research has proven that such summaries are more engaging for the reader, particularly for high-level decision-makers.

Questions? Comments? Please contact Elayne Vlahaki at [email protected]








Elayne Vlahaki, MPH
Program Manager
BC HIV/HCV Evaluation Advisory Group