Making your evaluation plan
You’ve had a chance in the previous sections to consider why evaluation matters and what makes it effective. Now we want to help you articulate a plan.
Challenge your Impact Goals. What you’re trying to do here is make sure your Impact Goals are measurement-ready. Ask yourself who is this goal about affecting, how they will react and engage, and what would change as a result.
An example of an Impact Goal that might be difficult to measure would be something like: “Get rape on the radar of issues in the US military”.
A better articulation might be: “Get every soldier in the US military to see and have an opportunity to discuss the film”.
For more on this, refer to section #1 of the Gates and Knight Foundation’s excellent Deepening Engagement For Lasting Impact (pages 6-10).
Define your Impact Indicators.
What you’re trying to do here is identify the specific methods of data collection you might be able to use in order to gather data against each of your Impact Goals – or at least identify a first piece of data you could collect for each one.
In order to do this, the main thing you’ll need to do is have a look through the next section of this chapter, the Evaluation Toolbox. In here we’ve got the long list of all the ways we know of to collect data. This will help you understand what’s possible, so you can then apply it to your own challenges.
A really good set of Impact Indicators will pick apart your Impact Goal, and find ways to measure all the different bits of it. Taking the better articulation above, your Impact Indicators might include:
- Number/proportion of soldiers who have seen film
- Number/proportion of soldiers who have heard of film
- Number/proportion of soldiers who have talked about film on social media
- Number/proportion of key training facilities which have film in curriculum
- Number/proportion of soldiers who have taken the new training
As an exercise now, just take a moment see if you can think of any more – there are plenty!
For more on this, refer to section #3 of the Deepening Engagement report (pages 18-28).
Now let’s start collecting evidence.