Design and Use of a Systematic Site Visit Protocol: Implications for Novice Evaluators and Mentors
Site visits are frequently used by evaluators to gain first-hand experience and knowledge about program implementation. However, few peer-reviewed articles describe the procedures used for designing and conducting site visits. This article describes the process of constructing and using a systematic site visit protocol. Theories and concepts of evaluation, including the measurement of fidelity and quality and the importance of context to site-level implementation, guided the construction of this protocol. Using a systematic method for program inquiry can improve the consistency of qualitative observations of program activities by enhancing intentionality, transparency, and emergence within the site visit process. The method presented may be especially helpful to novice evaluators and their mentors in learning about and teaching the process of conducting site visits.
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