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A resume

To ensure a good match, take the time to examine and verify potential evaluators' credentials, following up with any references they provide. Look at their past performance conducting evaluations to make sure they have a strong technical understanding of evaluation research and knowledge of statistical methods. In addition, meet with candidates in person to ask questions that will give you an idea of their working style and how they will respond to challenges that typically arise in an evaluation. Also look for strong skills in communication, team building, group processes, and negotiation, which are vital to a successful relationship between the evaluator and your program staff and stakeholders.

If you do hire an external evaluator, be sure to clearly define the roles and responsibilities you expect your evaluator to handle. This can help you avoid later misunderstandings and communication breakdowns. We will come back to this issue in more detail in the next topic, Managing an Evaluation.

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