Knowing what’s been achieved in any project or program should be at the forefront of every manager’s or coordinator’s mind, right?
Straightforward metrics to quantitatively and qualitatively measure achievements should be integrated into every project or program from the outset, too, right?
Ideally yes, but there are many reasons why this isn’t always the case. Evaluation is more than a sum of outputs (e.g., numbers of pests trapped, and trees planted). Well-structured evaluation using the right metrics strengthens the project/program and creates opportunities e.g., to attract more volunteers, strengthen existing partnerships and establish new ones, and gain more support from potential funders.
Issues I regularly come across:
- There’s limited baseline data from which to measure change
- Personnel with the right skills to carry out an evaluation are lacking
- Funding for evaluation is hard to get (and funders mostly focus on outputs anyway)
- Socio-cultural dimensions are complex and can be time consuming to measure
- Iterative cycles of evaluation aren’t perceived as integral to running initiatives effectively and efficiently
If the answer is yes to any of the above, then don’t hesitate to make contact! I can help devise a plan of action as well as carry out an evaluation to meet programme/project information needs.