Information Sources


One strategy to minimize the cost for evaluation is to make as much use of existing databases as possible. Resources in this section include a number of links to credible organizations that maintain useful databases, as well as some tools and Tip Sheets that can help in their use.

In thinking about whether or not to draw on existing data bases, there are some key questions group can ask: What is the coverage of this data base – does it include all of the groups or places that are the target for the group’s work? Are some groups over-represented or under-represented? Does the database describe carefully the details of its coverage, so it possible to know the answers to these questions with confidence? How current are the data? Would the information reported reflect changes the work being evaluated might have produced? If not, can it be used to provide a baseline, and if so, when will the data be updated? Are the data disaggregated, or can a group obtain the raw data and sort and group information for the populations or places needed for the evaluation?

Please see Tip Sheet What Are Possible Concerns About Available Data for more on this topic.




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