- Ensure evaluation and monitoring and its indicators are relevant to the objectives and outcomes of the specific public engagement initiative. Consider the elements that your organization wants to measure, including factors such as diversity or gender equality.
- Make indicators and tools appropriate to the change that you can realistically expect to see. Have indicators for width, depth, and height (for an explanation of those concepts, see “Towards good practice in public engagement”).
- Ensure indicators and tools are realistically measurable and manageable based on the resources you have available (both human and financial).
- Verify that indicators and tools are applicable to, and implementable in, the context in which your public engagement activities are taking place.
- Establish a reference point or baseline at the design phase, and monitor progress throughout the process. In some cases, baseline data may not have been collected or may not be possible given the available resources. Depending on the type of change you want to measure, you can use other techniques such as a retrospective “post-then-pre” question design to measure change over time.
- Use a diverse set of indicators and methods, including qualitative and quantitative measures (a mixed method approach). Using a complementary suite of indicators is more important than any single indicator alone. At a doctor’s office, for example, one’s blood pressure alone may not reveal much, but when considered in concert with family history, cholesterol levels, weight, etc., a more complete picture can emerge. This practice is called “triangulation” or “cross examination” in social sciences.