data collection hack interviews

Scheduling Evaluation Interviews

Interviewing multiple individuals for a project is time consuming and scheduling those interviews also can be time consuming. There are several online applications that can match available interview times between interviewers and interviewees; however, I created an easy, quick, and no-cost system to schedule interview times using a Google Doc as described below.

I created a Google Doc that listed available day/times I was available for interviews. This Google Doc was shared with all interviewees at the same time using a shared link giving them permission to view but not edit the online document.

I easily and quickly edited the online document with days/times that became available or unavailable as my time commitments changed. At some level, using a Google Doc in this manner was a quick way to develop an instant website describing my availability. I used an email similar to the one below to share this process with those I was planning to interview.

Hi Dana,

[Opening Intro]

I’d like to schedule an hour phone conversation to talk with you about [name of program].

This online document suggests several day/time possibilities. Please reply to this email with your preferred choices. If none will work, please suggest a couple others. I’ll confirm in a return email.

I’m really looking forward to talking with you about [name of program].



clients dissemination hack

Evaluation Memo

Several clients have more than one evaluation project happening at the same time.  Evaluation project activities including data collection, analysis, and reporting differ for each of the projects. As a means to consolidate all of the activities in a monthly snapshot I developed the evaluation memo.

An evaluation memo is a monthly correspondence (1-3 pages) between myself and a client that initiates a dialogue that:

  • Recaps evaluation activities that occurred that month
  • Poses questions to clients that need responses for the evaluation to move forward
  • Requests additional documents, data, or information, and
  • Shares upcoming activities and deliverables related to our program evaluation work

The monthly evaluation memo serves as a running record of recent past evaluation work, upcoming evaluation work, and a current client to-do list to keep the evaluation moving forward and on-track.