what is evaluation and what benefits can it bring?
Evaluation is undertaken in order to understand how a programme, scheme or projects are implemented, what the effects have been, for whom, how and why. Not evaluating, or evaluating poorly, will mean that you will not be able to provide meaningful evidence in support of any claims you might want to make about the effectiveness of your scheme or project.
when should an evaluation take place?
Evaluation is not something that only happens after a scheme or project has come to an end. Evaluation is actually most effective when it is used on an ongoing basis throughout the lifetime of a scheme or project in order to provide feedback about whether a scheme or project is being implemented as planned, whether there is anything that is working particularly well or not working particularly well and what progress is being made in terms of achieving the anticipated outcomes.
types of evaluation
Broadly, there are three main types of evaluation:
Process evaluations assess whether a scheme is being implemented as intended and what, in practice, is felt to be working more or less well, and why?
Impact evaluations attempt to provide an objective test of what changes have occurred, and the extent to which these can be attributed to the scheme.
Cost-benefit evaluations, in simple terms, compare the benefits of the scheme with its costs. Did the benefit justify the cost?
We can undertake each of these types of evaluation with you. Importantly, our approach to evaluation is constructive in nature, undertaking evaluation with a client and for the benefit of a client. Evaluation is not something that should be done to you, it should be done with you.