Internal v. External Resources
There is great value in building and using internal resources to support ongoing data collection and analysis—having data and analysis expertise at your fingertips can help you make informed decisions in real time. However, all organizations need to determine what works best for their unique needs when it comes to deciding how to allocate resources for data collection, analysis and evaluation.
- Capacity: Do you have, or do you want to create, the internal capacity to support this project?
- Expertise: Does your staff have the expertise to effectively support this project? If not, is it worthwhile to build that expertise?
The table below outlines several considerations when deciding between internal and external resources:
|Internal Resources||External Resources|
Potential for faster completion of project (no need to wait for consultants who may be working on other projects)
Potential to build in-house capacity for data analysis, learning and evaluation
Better understanding of organization and program culture and nuance
Cost-effective, if extra capacity is needed for only a short time
Impartial perspective on the program or work being assessed
Contract with consultant can include training to build internal capacity
Fresh eyes can provide important insight and lead to new ideas and interpretation of results