Advocacy Toolkit

 
1.7 How to budget an evaluation
 

Budgeting for an evaluation consists of estimating the costs of the evaluation process. In the Budgeting for an Evaluation section of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook, a “Planning an Evaluation Budget Worksheet” (p: 56) is available. This is a useful framework for developing an evaluation budget. The template can be adapted to each evaluation.

 

In general an evaluation budget includes:
1. Evaluation staff salary and benefits - The amount of time staff members must spend on an evaluation and the level of expertise needed to perform particular evaluation tasks will affect costs.


2. Consultants – For external evaluations, consultants are required. These consultants can provide special expertise and different perspectives throughout the evaluation process.


3. Travel - Travel expenses for staff and evaluators vary from project to project: projects requiring international evaluators or projects with multiple sites in different parts of the country may need a large travel budget.


4. Communication – A budget can include communication costs, postage and telephone calls.


5. Printing and duplication - These costs cover preparation of data-collection instruments, reports and any other documents.


6. Printed materials - This category includes the costs of acquiring data collection instruments and library materials.


7. Supplies and equipment - This category covers the costs of specific supplies and equipment (e.g., computers, software packages) that must be purchased or rented for the evaluation.

 

It is important to consider developing an evaluation timeline, as well as a costs/resources budget. The time required for an evaluation will vary depending on the evaluation questions, the human and financial resources available, as well as other external factors. Thinking through timing issues ensures that the evaluation will be feasible and that it will provide accurate, reliable, and useful information. Many projects fail to budget sufficient time for the evaluation, producing results that are not as helpful or useful as initially expected.

The Checklist for Developing and Evaluating Evaluation Budgets can assist the evaluators through the many issues that should be considered when developing an evaluation budget.

 
 Summary
 TOPIC LEARNING RESOURCE AUTHOR TYPE OF RESOURCE LANGUAGE
Key manual/guide Budgeting for an Evaluation (p:54)
W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook
The Evaluation Center Western Michigan University PDF guide English
Checklists & Examples Checklist for Developing and Evaluating
Evaluation Budgets
The Evaluation Center Western Michigan University PDF document English