Evaluation Services


At Public Works, we offer a variety of Evaluation services to our clients, each tailored specifically to the needs dictated by the situation. We work with clients on three distinct types of evaluation:

  • Third-Party Evaluation. An objective, unbiased and research-driven assessment of a program or particular intervention. Third-party evaluations are often selected as part of an outside funding or legislative accountability requirement, and require us to keep some distance from the client. There is less negotiation or discussion between the client and evaluator during the evaluation process.
  • Participatory EvaluationCollection of process and outcome data informs the implementation of programs and systems and assists the client as part of planning and evaluation. We work closely with the client to ensure that the implementation process is aligned with program or project goals, and meet regularly with the client and participate in most planning meetings.
  • Public Engagement Evaluation. Highlighting best practices or efforts to be documented and disseminated to internal and external audiences. We work with the client to develop appropriate criteria that guide the identification of program strategies or components to be communicated to interested stakeholders or the public at large.


Related Services Include

  • Comprehensive Needs Assessment.  We have considerable experience designing and conducting needs assessments for schools and school districts, social service agencies and employer organizations. Our expertise in qualitative and quantitative research, community resource mapping, and parent and community engagement results in a descriptive and thorough needs-assessment process that informs decision-making and program development with a concrete plan of action linked to the findings.
  • Data Teams. We strongly believe in using data to document program strengths and weaknesses as part of a process of continuous improvement. We have extensive experience working to develop staff capacity to make data-driven decisions. We offer training aimed at understanding and promoting the use of data for strategic planning and on-going improvement efforts. Working with an action team or group of stakeholders, we bolster clients’ capacity to develop evaluation instruments, collect data, analyze results, and transform analysis into an action plan.
  • Gap Analysis. We use our data collection expertise to identify the gaps that exist between the current community and stakeholder needs and currently available services and programs and whether those resources can meet the needs now and in the future. By providing the data necessary for making joint decisions, we conduct gap analyses designed to support community leaders representing multiple stakeholder groups in crafting action plans that support community-wide action.


Evaluation Methods

PW’s expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods includes:

  • Site Visit and Case Study Research:  Conducting site visits and case study research to examine program implementation,  typically gathering a wide range of stakeholder perspectives via interviews and observations.
  • Focus Groups: Designing focus group protocols as well as organizing and conducting focus groups with various stakeholders (e.g., students, parents, teachers, counselors, administrators, employers, etc.)
  • Small and Large-Scale Surveys: Designing and administering (mailed, hard copy in-person, and electronic) surveys tailored to specific projects and populations including students, teachers and other school staff, parents, school administrators and employers.
  • Structured Classroom Observation: Observing classroom teaching practices for evidence of professional development “transfer” of research-based pedagogy and/or to examine teacher quality, effectiveness and adherence to the California Standards for the Teaching Profession.
  • Analysis of Outcome Data: Statistical analysis related to student academic achievement and school performance, including, but not limited to, standardized test scores, formative exams, course grades, pupil attendance, college eligibility, and degree completion. Work in this area ranges from descriptive statistics to complex statistical modeling.
  • Formative Assessment: Designing and monitoring systems for formative assessment in core academic subject areas (English, Mathematics, Science, and History), as well as tracking progress of students enrolled in targeted academic intervention programs (e.g., after-school and Saturday supplemental instruction) and/or targeted based on student demographics (e.g., English Learners).
  • Performance-based Assessment: Designing and using of rubrics and benchmarks for scoring student work samples. Our staff is nationally recognized for its experience in improving performance-based assessment systems.
  • Student Transcript Analysis: Examining students’ opportunities to learn, curricular access and equity through analysis of student transcripts for secondary course (A-G) enrollment and passing rates.
  • Intake/Case Management: Developing intake, case management and follow-up systems for social service and education intervention agencies working to best support clients and track progress.

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