It is vitally important to start your evaluation with three basic questions about your organization and activities as a whole:
- Where are you at?
- Where are you going?
- How will you get there?
In articulating your vision of change, you should be able to answer:
- How do you conduct and measure public engagement in your field work or partnerships? Do you measure changes in behaviour or attitude? Can you look at your public engagement work in Canada with the same lens?
- At what level or levels does your organization direct its public engagement work in Canada (personal/relational/societal)?
- How would you like to see change happen at these different levels?
- How does this change contribute to your broader organization/project mission? (e.g. How is your engagement moving a youth from an observer to a contributor?)
- Is your organization already using a theory of change or another tool to articulate and measure change?
- If your organization already has a theory of change or other strategic planning document, who was involved in articulating the change your organization wants to see? Was it a small team? Was it done through a broad consultation? Did key stakeholders from your target audience take part in the discussion to validate/invalidate your organization’s vision?
- If your organization doesn’t have a theory of change or other strategic planning document, what tool would be most useful in helping your organization to articulate the change you want to see and the best means of getting there?
- How will your monitoring and evaluation reference your theory of change? How will your theory of change be adjusted in future as a result of your monitoring and evaluation?
- How open is your organization to being a learning organization? Is it willing to give enough value to monitoring and evaluation to support the learning process in all public engagement activities (ex. by allowing time after each activity to re-analyze data and reflect on their validity and contribution to change)?