Improving Evaluation Design
This paper, produced for the Evaluation Roundtable event on 27th April 2016, offers a practical resource for foundation staff in assessing and/or improving their processes for the design stage of commissioning external evaluations. It does not cover all aspects of the evaluation cycle but, drawing on insights from Roundtable discussions to date, it addresses concerns raised by a broad range – in terms of size, type, stage of development and approach to evaluation – of foundations.
In the UK, over the last five years, there has been a significant increase in demand for different types of evaluative activity. How this activity is defined has become increasingly amorphous. Experiences shared through the Roundtable show that attitudes to, and organisation of, evaluation are different in every foundation, and inextricably bound to broader cultural factors. Discussions about process alone will not answer critical questions about what it means to use evaluation effectively.
This broader question of what it means to be a learning organisation (covering questions about organisational culture, and the sharing and use of evaluative information) is the theme of the 2017 Roundtable.
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