5.3(a) Our evaluation plan


To agree what the group is going to evaluate, why and how.

You need

Your evaluation charter from 5.1(c) Our Evaluation Charter, your methods toolkit from 5.2(a) What Works For Us?, the blank evaluation plan which is activity sheet 39, flipchart, pens and at least an hour.

What to do

While you may just be itching to stop talking and get on with it, this hour’s worth of planning is crucial to get the most out of this aim, build on your knowledge and develop your skills.

a) First, working as a whole group, look over your evaluation charter and agree it as your baseline for how you want to undertake an evaluation. If there are any differences of opinion, take a few moments to iron them out now.

b) Second, the group needs to agree on something to evaluate that is important to you, something you want to know more about and help change. Ideally, you will use your group priority from Unit 3: Getting reading for action and Unit 4: Campaigning for change (see 3.1 Agreeing the group's priority for action). When you’ve agreed, write this in the first box on the evaluation plan, activity sheet 39.

c) Having decided what to evaluate, you need to be clear why it is important and how you are going to go about it. Work through the first part of the evaluation plan all together, Planning issues, Planning decisions, discussing, agreeing and filling in each section. You may well want to add in other planning issues in the left hand column, but keep it manageable. Perhaps most important of all is being clear about the three questions you want to find answers to at Planning issue number 3.

d) Get into three groups, each taking one of the three approaches to gaining information, visual, verbal or written. For ten minutes, draft some ideas on how you are going to do your part of the evaluation, using your section of the evaluation plan headed How are we going to gather the information? You need to cover the three key questions you have agreed you want answers to. Remind yourselves as well of your work in Unit 2: Mapping the community, when you considered the three Ps of people, places and power. Does your plan consider how to get information about these three aspects? Come back together to check briefly that you are all on course. Are you happy with the overall range and scope to the evaluation? Is the group as a whole likely to get answers to your three key questions?

Evaluation plan
Planning issues Planning decisions
1. What are we going to evaluate?
2. Why is it important to us? Who else may it be important to?
3. What are the questions we want to find answers to? (No more than three) 1.
4. What safety concerns are there for us and how can we tackle them?
5. How are we going to present what we find?
6. Who are we going to share our evaluation with? (See 3.3 Building alliances)
How are we going to gather the information?
Approaches Question 1 Question 2 Question 3
Visual (Photos, …)
Verbal (Individual interviews, Group interviews, …)
Written (Questionnaire, …

e) The final part of your planning process is, in your three small groups, to devise your detailed plan for doing your part of the evaluation. You can choose a range of methods from your toolkit you created in 5.2(a) What Works For Us?, but make sure at least that you use:

  • Visual recording with photos
  • Verbal interview with an individual and or group
  • Written questionnaire

Visual record (photos, painting, collage)

  • Be clear what you want to record and why.
  • What’s the point you want to get across?
  • How can you make your point clear, for example by adding in captions or explanations?
  • What’s the order you need to make the pictures tell the story you want?
  • Who’s behind the camera or painting the pictures? Does it have to be you?

Individual interview and group discussion (15 minutes long)

Here are some thoughts to consider:

  • Helping people get started: what do you think about … /how do you feel about …?
  • What particularly do you like/not like about …?
  • Asking more probing questions: why do you think that? What would make it/them better?
  • Closing questions: anything else you want to add?

Written questionnaire

Don’t forget:

  • No more than a side of A4.
  • Make sure it can be completed in ten minutes max.
  • Avoid long or complicated questions. Make them clear and simple.
  • Avoid leading and closed questions, like ‘Is this your favourite?’ Leading means you are assuming how they will answer. Closed means people can just answer yes or no.
  • Go for more open neutral questions. What is your view about …? How do you think it could be improved?
  • Can you use a scoring scale from 1–5 or happy/sad faces as well?

What next

If possible, type up all aspects of the evaluation plans you have created in this aim. Photocopy one for each group member to add to your individual evaluation toolkits.


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