Evaluation During Disruptions: Course Corrections and Other Considerations

SRI author:


Moore, H., Heinemeier, S., Gillis, M., Shaver, D., & Schaaf, J. (2021). Evaluation during disruptions: Course corrections and other considerations. Westat, Center to Improve Program and Project Performance.


What should you do when a large-scale disruption makes your evaluation impossible to implement as planned? Evaluators across the nation are facing this problem as a result of the extraordinary circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, disruptions can also occur due to hurricanes, earthquakes, wildfires, floods, as well as more localized events like a roof collapse, extreme temperatures, or large-scale administrative changes. With disruptions like these, you may lose participants or an entire intervention site; be unable to gather formative, fidelity, or outcome data; or otherwise have your evaluation stymied. Program and project (hereafter referred to as “project”) activities may be disrupted in other ways too, presenting additional challenges and considerations depending on when the disruption occurs. This document offers guidance to evaluators and staff whose projects have been disrupted, with a particular focus on Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) grantees.

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