Self-evaluation or external evaluation video series – 4.When is a good time to do an external evaluation? (4 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 4 asks: When is a good time to do an external evaluation?

Self-evaluation or external evaluation (4 of 4) 

When is a good time to do an external evaluation? 

There might be times when it’s helpful to do an external evaluation, whether that’s to provide a fresh eye on your work and suggest ways to improve what you do or how you do it; to analyse and draw conclusions from information you’ve gathered, or perhaps to set your work in the wider context or compare with other research. This is helpful if you feel there is learning that others would be interested in too. 

In general, we say use external evaluators to do the things you can’t or to add value. 

Top tips: 

  1. a) Ask yourself WHY do you need an external evaluation. Where might the gaps be? 
  2. b) Know what questions you want them to answer – and hold them do it 
  3. c) Be clear the skills you need them to have 
  4. d) Be realistic about budget and timescales 
  5. e) Write all this in a clear specification. Take a look at the evaluation brief on our website, to help you plan. 

Watch the other videos in this series