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Learn about Summative Evaluation

Summative evaluation occurs at the end of a grant cycle and provides an overall description of the effectiveness of the grant and its interventions. (Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2005)

Summative evaluation defines…

  • If you met your grant objectives
  • If you will need to improve and modify the overall structure of the grant or various interventions
  • The overall impact of the grant
  • What resources you will need to address the grant’s weaknesses

Summative evaluation will enable you to make decisions regarding the effectiveness of specific services and the future direction of your grant program (or project). These are decisions that cannot be made during the middle of a grant cycle. Summative evaluation reports should be provided to funders and constituents with an interest in the effectiveness of the grant in meeting its intended goals and outcomes.

Common Types of Summative Evaluations

  • Summative evaluation that is goal-based will help determine if the intended goals of a grant were achieved. Has my grant accomplished its goals?
  • Outcome evaluation investigates whether the grant caused demonstrable effects on specifically defined target outcomes. What effect does participation in the grant have on my students?
  • Impact evaluation is broader and assesses the overall or net effects — intended or unintended — of the grant. What impact does this grant have on the larger organization (i.e., high school or college), community, or system?
  • Cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis address questions of efficiency by standardizing outcomes in terms of their dollar costs and values. How efficient is my grant with respect to cost compared to those served compared to outcomes?