Louise Bowen, Knowledge and Networks Officer at Evaluation Support Scotland gives tips on how to get people on board with evaluation
Here at Evaluation Support Scotland we often ask participants in our training or tailored support sessions “who in your organisation is involved in evaluation?’’
One of the key things we’ve learned over the last 12 years is that evaluation is more likely to produce really useful data for service development when people from across the organisation are involved, evaluation processes are built into their everyday work and evaluation is valued as a tool for learning and development – in other words, when the organisation has a culture of evaluation.
But how do you go about developing that culture? What if you’re the only person with responsibility for evaluation in your organisation? Getting others on board with evaluation won’t happen overnight, but a starting point is to find out what makes evaluation valuable to different people – why does it, or why could it, matter to them? Your colleagues, trustees and volunteers will all have different learning to take from evaluation findings, so the key is to help them understand why they can benefit from it.
The next stage is to identify ways that evaluation can be integrated into existing working practices and fit with the skills that people already have. This is all about taking it step-by-step to make evaluation a normal part of activities and conversations, rather than a hoop to jump through! We’ve developed the Making it Stick guide and diagnostic tool to help you work through the stages of embedding evaluation and check your organisation’s progress with developing an evaluation culture.
You can also check out case studies from third sector organisations that we’ve worked with featuring practical tips and learning about how they make embedding evaluation work for them.
Read more about Inspiring Impact. This Wakelet from the Inspiring Impact event on getting trustees, volunteers and colleagues on board with evaluation is a quick 10 minute read – full of practical suggestions from third sector practitioners!
This blog was written for Big Lottery Fund and featured in Big Blog Scotland in August 2018