Evaluation – what does it really mean for your project?

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Evaluation – what does it really mean for your project?

Evaluation is a common word in communication and engagement circles, and yet it is often overlooked or hastily considered at the conclusion of a project.

While evaluation takes time and resources and may be considered a low priority for your organisation, it can mean the difference between success and failure. Better still, evaluation can be entirely cost-effective.

Regular and effective evaluation at different points of the project is critical for a number of reasons:

  • It provides valuable information on whether your project is reaching target audiences in the right way
  • You can assess the value of your methodologies and whether your budget is being spent wisely
  • You can create a benchmark for what works well and what doesn’t for future projects
  • You will gain credibility if you can demonstrate that your project is reaching its goals or you’ve shifted focus to reach goals
  • You will ensure transparency and accountability
  • When things don’t operate as expected, you can find answers and resolve the problem
  • You will cut long term costs by addressing problems or issues as they happen
  • The information will help you to develop more effective strategies or programs in the future.

5 evaluation techniques that won’t cost the earth:

  • Surveys – tools such as Survey Monkey are cheap and easy to implement
  • Feedback forms/email – ask participants to fill out a quick form or send an email requesting feedback post workshop
  • Verbal feedback – have a conversation and ask people up-front what they thought of a process/method and what their experiences were like
  • Count – conduct an audit on how many responses you have received and from which groups
  • Review responses – Analyse the responses and categorise to assess the ‘mood’ (for example positive/negative)

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