Engaging Staff in the Program Evaluation Process

A Nonprofit’s Journey of Data Analysis and Staff Engagement 

Valley Settlement is a nonprofit organization that serves immigrant and Latinx families in the Roaring Fork Valley. They run six different programs, each addressing ways to improve early childhood educational outcomes and provide immigrant families the support they need to thrive.


Community-Centered Listening

As an organization that’s centered around listening to their community needs, they are continuously collecting data to understand the outcomes of their programs. With a full suite of data, Valley Settlement hired ResultsLab to help them conduct an analysis of all the pre and post data they had collected across all six programs. The other key component of this work was to engage in a participatory evaluation process. For this part, our team led a Data Action session where we could collectively dive into the findings of the data collected with the Valley Settlement staff.

We initially contracted with ResultsLab to conduct an extensive qualitative analysis of a listening tour completed by our team in 2021. The quality of their work, and the depth of their collaboration, was exceptional. Based on our experience in that project, we decided to contract with their Actionable Analytics team to complete a full analysis of our pre/post program data and lead a Data Action session with our staff.

– Sally Boughton, Director of Development and Communications


Analysis and Data Action

Our team at ResultsLab began the project by reviewing the data that the nonprofit had collected across the different programs, and analyzing the qualitative data with a focus on understanding cultural nuances present in the community that Valley Settlement serves.

After completing the analysis, our team led the Data Action session that kicked off Valley Settlement’s three-day Evaluation Retreat. The session was designed to engage staff in the data and collectively begin to answer, ‘what is the data telling us,’ ‘why,’ ‘so what,’ and ‘now what’. Staff were highly engaged in interpreting and understanding their programs’ results, and used the findings to outline actionable improvements to make in programming for the coming year.

Setting the Foundation for a Participatory Evaluation Process

The session was a success, and Valley Settlement’s staff were eager to use the data to make a greater impact in the community. Engaging the staff in the Data Action session provided Valley Settlement with tangible progress toward creating a more participatory evaluation process. As a result of the project, Valley Settlement now plans to use this work to inform how they will structure their Evaluation Retreats moving forward.