Types of Evaluation
When you come to evaluate your project, you will need to focus on two aspects of your project. You will need to look at firstly the activities, and secondly the effect your project has had. In evaluation language this is known as process and impact/outcome evaluation.
Apart from process and impact evaluation, it is also useful to consider summative evaluation.
This involves judging the activities (or strategies) of your project. This often involves looking at what has been done, who has been reached, and the quality of the activities. It involves seeking answers to questions such as:
- Has the project reached the appropriate people?
- Are all the projects activities going to plan? If not, why not?
- Where any changes made to the intended activities? If so, why?
- Are materials, information, presentations of good quality?
- Are the participants and other key people satisfied?
This involves judging the extent to which your project has had an effect on the changes you were seeking. In other words, the extent to which your project has met its goal and objectives. Impact evaluation judges how well the objectives were achieved and outcome evaluation involves judging how well the goal has been achieved. It involves seeking answers to questions such as:
- What progress has been made toward achieving the goal?
- To what extent has the project met its objectives?
- How effective has the project been at producing changes?
- Are there any factors outside of the project that have contributed to (or prevented) the desired change?
- Has the project resulted in any unintended change?
This is done at the end of the project and involves considering the project as a whole, from beginning to ‘end’. It is meant to summarise and inform decisions about whether to continue the project (or parts of it), whether it is valuable to expand into other settings. It involves seeking answers to questions such as:
- What were the main benefits and disappointments?
- What things helped and hindered the project?
- In retrospect, what could have strengthened it?
- What would you advise others embarking on something similar?
- What aspects will be sustained and how?
- Is it worth continuing in its current form? Why/why not?
- What recommendations have emerged about where to from here?
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