TIG Charter

Program Design TIG Charter


Note: The following is a draft of the Program Design TIG charter. We encourage you to review and add your voice. It is by no means a definitive statement of the TIG’s scope or focus; nor is it intended to exclude any approaches, views, or issues. If this charter strikes a responsive chord in your evaluation practice, we invite you to join the community. There is ample space for you to make your contribution to the charter, and beyond that, to the work of the TIG. If you have any comments on the charter or on the TIG’s work, please contact us. We are working hard to develop a web presence to continue this conversation.


The core goal of the Program Design TIG is to improve the impact of programs (loosely defined) by combining the strengths of evaluation and program design. We focus on three dimensions of this intersection and use grammatical constructs (Lam, personal communication, February 10, 2015) to help define the nuances:

(n.) Design is a product. The program design is the blueprint for the project. This TIG community explores the skill sets and methodological approaches that evaluators can use to provide stakeholders with feedback on the quality of the design. Markers for good program design might include how well the design reflects program objectives and builds in the capacity for learning and redesign.

(v.) To design (and redesign) is a process. Hands-on participation in designing a program is a relatively new arena for evaluators. Evaluative thinkers can lead the design process by pushing evaluative questions, drawing up program theory, conducting needs assessment, planning for the collection and analysis of outputs and outcomes, and anticipating implementation and sustainability hurdles. This TIG is committed to demonstrating how evaluation skills help ground design activities.

(adj.) Many attributes can describe a program design. For instance, the value of human-centered design has recently received attention in evaluation circles. This approach foresees a “delight” factor as a powerful way to re-frame issues to make evaluation more welcome. The Program Design TIG welcomes exploration of this and other new approaches for evaluating design.