Despite the wide range of standardized tools available, an instrument simply may not exist that is relevant to the unique features of many programs, and often, standardized tools do not measure the activities and participant changes you wish to measure. Even when a tool does exist, finding the best one to use is difficult and can be expensive.
An alternative to existing standardized tools is to develop your own tool whose content is tailored to the unique features of your program and is sensitive to the characteristics of your program’s target population. In addition, the development of your own instrument can avoid some of the copyright, cost, and training issues that characterize standardized tools and can foster a greater sense of ownership along with buy-in to the program among project staff.
However, customized instruments can present their own unique challenges. It is easy to create a bad survey, but difficult to create a good one. At Midwest Evaluation, we can help you identify evaluation tools or create custom surveys just for you.