Self-evaluation or external evaluation video series – 2.Will my service users be more honest with an external evaluator? (2 of 4)


ESS Evaluation Manager Nicola Swan answers your questions about self-evaluation and external evaluation in a 4-part series of bite-size videos.

Part 2 asks: Will my service users be more honest with an external evaluator?

 Self-evaluation or external evaluation (2 of 4) 

Will my service users be more honest with an external evaluator? 

One of the most common questions we hear about external evaluation is: will my service users be more honest with an external evaluator? Will they be able to gather better evidence from service users, and does this make the evaluation more objective? 

In our experience evaluation is usually more effective when it’s built into the everyday activities you deliver, meaning that you can collect authentic evidence at the time rather than after the event. 

Also, it’s likely that you will have built up trusting relationships with your service users or clients over time. So you know what success looks like for the individuals you work with, and may be best placed to judge (along with the person) what is good evidence of change for them. The people you support may be more honest with you on how you can improve your service, rather than with an external person who they don’t know. 

However, you may find that there are times when an external evaluation can add value. See our support guide for more information. 

Watch the other videos in this series