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Evaluation in our new normal environment: Navigating the challenges with data collection

Persaud, Nadini & Dagher, Ruby

Nadini Persaud

Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation





budgetschallengesCOVID-19data collectionevaluationevaluatorsnew normal environmenttime frame


Data collection is a critical component of all evaluations. However, it often presents a number of challenges under the best of circumstances. For instance, the evaluation budget and time frame both have implications for the quality and type of data that is collected. Additionally, adherence to high quality international ethical best practices should always be maintained when collecting data for any purpose, methodological rigor is important for ensuring the credibility of the evaluation, and field work can be affected by untimely or no access to important documents and stakeholders, as well as the exhibition of excessive evaluation anxiety on the part of critical stakeholders. These challenges have now been considerably exacerbated by the COVID-19 global health pandemic which has changed our world in fundamental ways. In what is now considered as our new normal environment, evaluators will need to make profound changes to the manner in which they plan and undertake data collection. This paper will discuss some of the challenges that evaluators will likely encounter as they try to execute their jobs during and post-COVID-19 and will suggest certain critical adjustments to the practice of evaluation.



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