Evaluation Capacity Building
We strive to leave our evaluation footprints behind. Our goal in any evaluation project is to build evaluation capacity among the individuals, groups, and organizations with whom we work. We have decades of experience working with small and large organizations to build their capacity to plan and implement meaningful evaluations. We serve as coaches, consultants, trainers, and technical assistance providers to support individuals and groups within organizations to conduct and use evaluations to reach various goals. With decades of experience and well over a hundred evaluations under our belts, we have a lot of knowledge and skills to impart, and we do so with genuine passion.
Evaluation & Research
Evaluation is our bread and butter. We are social scientists who conduct applied research in multiple fields of practice. More importantly, we are evaluators who know the difference between evaluation and research and expertly apply our evaluation knowledge and skills to successfully evaluate any type of intervention that involves human behavior. We conduct developmental, formative, and summative evaluations using a full range of approaches, including but not limited to utilization-focused evaluation, participatory and collaborative evaluation, and theory-based program evaluation. We are deeply experienced at mixed-methods studies, valuing the strength of combining quantitative and qualitative methods; we have employed experimental, quasi-experimental, and pre-experimental designs; and we use various methods of data collection such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, observations and document reviews. We also apply an equity lens in all our evaluation and research projects to promote equity for a more just society.
Needs & Evaluability Assessment
Clarus Research uses scientific methods to understand needs, gaps, and strengths in any field of practice that involves human behavior. We conduct needs assessments for agencies, organizations, stakeholder groups, and communities to identify service and capacity needs and to help select the most suitable interventions to address those needs. Needs assessments are often helpful for strategic planning and intervention development. When done right, needs assessments aid in selecting interventions that truly address the root cause of a problem rather than its symptoms. We also conduct evaluability assessments to help clients determine whether they have a clear effort or intervention to evaluate and whether their agency and/or stakeholders are ready to pursue an evaluation in earnest. Evaluability assessments are fruitful in helping clients use evaluation resources wisely and could contribute to evaluation capacity building when done using a participatory approach.
Performance Monitoring & CQI
The Clarus team understands the difference between performance monitoring and evaluation and uses this keen understanding and decades of experiences in both arenas to help organizations effectively execute performance monitoring. We have developed systems for performance monitoring under the larger umbrella of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) to help organizations monitor performance to improve the implementation of interventions. When done strategically, performance monitoring can support evaluation efforts, and vice versa, in collecting an array of information from multiple informants to answer questions about performance and impact.
Strategic Planning & Development
Our services in strategic planning and development focus on critical thinking and using data through a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) lens – along with tools and approaches such as theory of change, logic modeling, and SWOT analysis – to solve problems and generate solutions. We have helped many agencies to strategically plan and develop programs to achieve short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals. Strategic planning and development can occur at any point in the life cycle of an intervention – from selecting, to improving, and to deciding on the future of an intervention. Strategic planning and development go hand-in-hand with evaluation, which plays an essential role in feeding scientifically-based information into the strategic planning and development process.