This step will help you to:
- Find different ways to collect information about the difference you are making and
- Fit evaluation into your project or organisation.
Make to measure: Evaluation methods and plans is the second workshop in our Let’s Evaluate! programme and is the best training to continue your learning about how to collect evidence to show the difference you are making.
Resources for Collecting evidence
Choosing the right evaluation method
Choosing the right evaluation method
Once you’ve set indicators for each of your outcomes, you’ll begin to see
that your evidence might come from different sources – for example, if
one indicator you wanted to measure was how stressed someone feels,
you would need to ask them direct – meaning that the source of that
evidence is the service user themselves. On the other hand, something
like their ability to make eye contact is an indicator you might simply
Thinking about what the sources of your indicators are will help you to
decide on the best ways to capture evidence, but there are some other
factors to take in to account as well.
When choosing the best methods or tools to use for measuring your
indicators, you should consider what the characteristics or abilities of
your service users are. For example, if literacy is an issue, a wordy
questionnaire might not be the most suitable tool – you might instead
want to choose a method with few or no words, or try to illustrate
concepts with images instead. You might also want to build your methods
in to the activities you’re delivering, so that evaluation is not a big, extra
task – for example, if you engage young people in playing football, you
could ask them to kick the ball in to one goal if they agree with the
statement and the other goal if they disagree.
So, in order to choose the most appropriate evidence-collection methods,
some key things to think about are:
- what opportunities you’ll have to measure your indicators, based on
what their sources are,
- what people will find easiest to engage with, based on their
characteristics or abilities, and
- how you can build evaluation into your activities, so that it’s part
of your day-to-day work
ESS support guides
ESS Support Guide 2a Designing evidence collection methods
This guide covers things organisations should think about when designing a suitable evaluation method for the evidence they want to collect.
ESS Support Guide 2b Storing Evidence
This guide looks at how organisations can store the information they need to use in evaluation.
Evaluating Community Projects – A Practical Guide
These guidelines were developed to help 20 community and voluntary organisations to evaluate their work.
ESS Evaluation Tool: Evaluation planning template
This template is a simple tool to help organisations plan their monitoring and evaluation,
The Outcomes Star™ is a unique tool for supporting and measuring change when working with vulnerable people.
www.surveymonkey.com which is an online survey tool. You can also pay to create more complicated surveys and to access the tools to analyse the results (otherwise you have to analyse
Case Study: Age Scotland
This case study is about how a series of support sessions with ESS helped Age Scotland set organisational outcomes and create a new evaluation toolkit for the whole organisation.
Case Study: Edinburgh School Uniform Bank (ESUB)
ESS worked with ESUB to help review their evaluation methods. This case study is an example of ESS’s evaluation principles – good evaluation should be about what matters, and fits the way you work.
Case Study: Evaluating public engagement work (The School of Life Sciences, Dundee University)
The School of Life Sciences at University of Dundee show how they evaluate public engagement activities.
Case Study: Pain Concern
ESS worked with Pain Concern to help improve their helpline service. This case study is an example of an ESS evaluation principle: good evaluation should fit the way you work.
Case Study: Scottish Ballet
This case study is about two tailored support sessions that ESS facilitated for Scottish Ballet, to support them to set and measure outcomes.
Evaluation Matters to Home Link
In this short video case study, Paula Swanston from Home Link Family Support in Edinburgh explains how they did just that. We interviewed Paula a few months after a colleague
General Data Protection Regulation
All the information you need on the General Data Protection Regulation can be found here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-data-protection/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/
A practical guide to outcomes tools (2010)
A document to help service managers choose a tool that works for them by describing the different types of outcomes tool, their benefits, and what makes a good tool.
The W.K Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook
This handbook provides a framework for thinking about evaluation as a relevant and useful program tool. The Handbook also provides background reading on logic models. The Handbook identifies four steps