Impact Evaluation In A Nutshell

Credits: Youth Impact

The terminology of Impact Evaluation procedures might be sometimes difficult to grasp, but the core question is very simple: DOES IT WORK? The evaluation of the impact of activities, measures or organisations, tries to answer basic questions such as: What works? What does not work? For whom it works and for whom it doesn´t? Why it doesn´t work? What could work better in this particular context?

Even though the questions are simple, answering them is not always easy. Thorough evaluation requires exploration of context, design of the evaluation, data collection, analysis of data, evaluation of the actual impact, and recommendations for future improvement.

In the first stage of the evaluation has to be specified who and how manages the evaluation,  how the evaluation contributes to an actual change and what are the outlines of the evaluation in terms of users, purposes, questions and success stories. The second stage comprises of description of the context, data collection and analysis of all available data and sources. A synthesis of findings should be offered in the third stage of impact evaluation together with actions to communicate the findings and evaluation results. Also, recommendation for change, improvements and future developments should be outlined at this stage.

The process of learning is what really matters and it is the main reason why we carry out evaluations. We learn to do things differently and how to improve in the future. We can also get inspired by other evaluations in order to see if the same strategies and mechanisms work in different contexts. That is why networking and mutual learning are also very important parts of evaluation processes.



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