Evaluation helps you to know if what you're doing works. Though it may seem like a final step, it should be integrated into your work from the initial planning stages. More and more, funders, including private foundations and the Federal government, ask grantees to show the outcomes of their work. Even more important, evaluation helps you keep tabs on how effective a program is so you can make sure to give young people the best service possible.

Evaluation and Outcomes Measurement

A young man and woman study a whiteboard together. Photograph courtesy of Corporation for National and Community Service.The links below give guidance on how to evaluate programs and measure outcomes:

Outcomes Measurement (Compassion Capital Fund National Resource Center Intermediary Development Series)

Evaluation (Children, Youth and Families Education and Research Network)

The Handbook of Positive Youth Outcomes (PDF, 2,700 KB) (Networks for Youth Development)

ImProves Outcomes Toolkit: Measuring What Matters Most in Child and Youth Services (PDF, 673 KB) (New England Network for Youth)

First Steps in Evaluation (PDF, 2,900 KB) (Search Institute)

Measuring Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools (Forum for Youth Investment)

Outcomes Measurement Resource Network (United Way of America)


Photograph of a hand using a pencil to fill out a form.

The links below give information about tools for assessing programs and measuring outcomes. Several of the tools are discussed in the Forum for Youth Investment report "Measuring Youth Program Quality: A Guide to Assessment Tools."

Afterschool Program Assessment System (National Institute on Out-of-School Time)

Building Partnerships for Youth Program Assessment Tool (Building Partnerships for Youth—National 4-H Council and the University of Arizona)

Out of School Time Observation Instrument (PDF, 370 KB) (See Appendix C) (Policy Studies Associates, Inc.)

New York State Afterschool Network Program Quality Self-Assessment Tool (New York State Afterschool Network)

Promising Practices Rating Scale (PDF, 102 KB) (Wisconsin Center for Education Research and Policy Studies Associates, Inc.)

Quality Assurance System (Foundations, Inc.)

Youth and Adult Leaders for Program Excellence: A Practical Guide for Program Assessment and Action Planning (ACT for Youth)

Youth Program Quality Assessment (High/Scope Educational Research Foundation)


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