Organisations should have a clear understanding of why they are conducting evaluations. The question of why should be asked particularly in the planning stages of your public engagement campaign. Ask yourself: What do you hope to learn from the evaluation? How you will use the information? Keep in mind the spirit of the Istanbul Principles, which insist on an evaluation that empowers people and demonstrates multiple accountability.
The following questions will help to determine the indicators, processes, tools and overall approach to use in your evaluation:
- What do you want to know? (i.e. What is the change you hope your public engagement work will achieve? How is it affecting different genders?)
- How will you know it? (i.e. Which indicators will give you the information you want?)
- Where can this information be obtained? (i.e. What are your data sources?)
- How and when will this information be collected? (i.e. What tools and methods will be used to collect data? What resources are required?)
- How will you maintain rigour in your data collection and data reporting? (i.e. Are your methods and processes replicable? Is your data reliable and valid? Do your methods align with the specific scale of change you are working towards? Have you identified variables and considered external forces that impact your results?)
- How will you use this information? (i.e. program improvement, reporting to participants, donors or internal stakeholders, etc.)
- How can you engage your participants meaningfully and respectfully throughout the process?