Once the project is concluded or close to the end, a final evaluation can be organised. A final evaluation reviews the overall project cycle, draws conclusions and extracts lessons learned from the experience. Commonly, in the context of youth work, a team meeting is organised to discuss the achievements and learning points. Often, based on information gathered via participants’ evaluation forms. Here we give you guidance on tools to evaluate outputs (completed activities/efforts) outcomes (effects of completed activities), impact (long lasting changes).
|If you first want to assess your practices go to Assess your projects.|
Evaluate your efforts or outputs
These are typical questions that you can ask when assessing to what extent your efforts and activities corresponded to your plans and expectations.
- Did you manage to implement all planned activities?
- How many activities were organised?
- How many persons were reached? How many participated?
Outcomes have been defined as the results of completed activities. These can mean changes in attitudes or improved skills. In the context of educational activities it is important that you collect information about what participants have learned and about attitudes that may lead to changed behaviour. One way of collecting this information is via surveys. One could conduct a survey right after the activity has finished so that participants can reflect on their learning when memories are still fresh. A second survey can be conducted a few months after the activity to assess to what extent new developed competences have been applied and exercised in practice. Additionally, you can also include questions about new implemented actions or projects, level of cooperation among participants (for example, have they stayed in touch? Have they organised follow-up projects together?)
Projects may have different types of impacts in a broad sense, that is, various types of effects on persons and groups. Yet, impact evaluation means something else if defined in more technical terms. It is defined as the measurement of sustainable and long-term changes in the original problem or conflict addressed by the project. For example, if the starting point of the project was the increase of violence and hate speech in a school district, then the impact would be the reduction of that violence as a result of a project intervention (peace education, peer mediation, counselling). This change needs to be clearly attributed to the project’s intervention. A rigorous impact evaluation requires a control group to compare the project group with. The control group allows for a counterfactual analysis “would this change have happened if there would have not been a program?” Counterfactual analyses focus on what would have happened with the beneficiaries of a program in the absence of the program.
You can read more about ….
- Rigorous Impact Evaluation in Peace Education: in the book Peace Education Evaluation: Learning from Experience and Exploring Prospects by Del Felice, C., Karako A. and Wisler, A. eds.
- Evaluating the Impacts of Peacebuilding Interventions: Saferworld
- InterAction’s Impact Evaluation Guidance Note and Webinar Series