The notion of readiness in evaluation is often tacit: it can be hidden in the Request for Proposals by a granting agency calling for an evaluation; or, at best, it is hinted at in the winning consultant’s bid. We are practitioners committed to learning-oriented, practical evaluations. However, we have found that the extent to which the client is ready for a collaborative, utilization-focused evaluation (UFE) that enhances organizational learning is often taken for granted. We have learned to address “readiness” early on, as it is a lynchpin that shapes every subsequent step of the process.
The settings for this article are rural and remote communities in the province of Ontario, Canada, where the advent of high-speed Internet has brought about new opportunities for the provision of public health and information services. This article proposes that public funding agencies and service providers will gain planning and evaluation insight from the notion of "moments of truth" as an additional dimension to capture and communicate program effectiveness.