Step 5: Evaluate

Each step in this action plan should be accompanied by a relevant evaluation plan to measure the effectiveness of the project and to ensure that it is being run as intended and is reaching the intended audiences.

The evaluation framework can be tailored to your needs.

 

1. Define indicators:

These are the key change indicators that are valued amongst you and your stakeholders. They can be used to evaluate the objectives and goals of your initiative. Indicators focus mainly on the impact and outcome evaluations, and can be assessed by asking the following questions:

  1. Impact evaluation: Impact evaluation evaluates the objectives and asks whether the desired short-term changes have been achieved. Questions you can ask while evaluating your objectives include:
    • Are the objectives being met?
    • What strategies need to be changed to be ‘nimble’ with community needs and local context?
    • What behaviour/environmental factors have changed as a result?
  1. Outcome evaluation: This is the total goal outcome of the action plan and asks if the overall project goal has been achieved. This can measure long term participation, presence of facilities or programs, changes in attitudes, behaviours, improvements in local governments, etc. Indicators used to evaluate both Impact and Outcome evaluations may include:
    • Changes in awareness, knowledge, skills
    • Increases in the number of people reached
    • Policy changes
    • Changes in behaviour
    • Changes in community capacity
    • Changes in organisational capacity (skills, structures, resources)
    • Increases in service usage
    • Improved continuity of care

 

2. Identify evaluation approaches

Now you need to determine what tools you will use to measure and evaluate the changes to these indicators. You could consider the following:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Workshops
  • Focus groups
  • Consultations
  • Forums

 

3. Conduct baseline needs assessment

With your indicators and measurements ready, it’s time to conduct your evaluation. Using the baseline needs assessment you have made in the first step of this 5-step process, you can now compare the changes to that baseline.

 

4. Undertake monitoring evaluation

A monitoring evaluation is a repeat of the baseline assessment, in full or in part, to help track your progress and what refinements need to be made. It could involve smaller number of interviews or workshops to get feedback from stakeholders. If there are areas where you are concerned improvements are not being made, a monitoring evaluation could be useful here too.

 

5. Undertake impact evaluation

The timing of an impact evaluation depends on the activities you planned when they are completed. It will provide you with evidence of your achievements, which is important for communicating successes with stakeholders and garnering the attention of higher officials.

 

6. Repeat the cycle

The impact evaluation can provide data that served the same purpose as the needs analysis – to identify new changes required. Progress for creating age-friendly health and community services needs to be maintained and built upon. Keep evaluating and moving forward!

 

References:

– QLD Government. (2020). Queensland: An age-friendly community toolkit. https://www.communities.qld.gov.au/resources/dcdss/seniors/age-friendly-community/qld-age-friendly-toolkit.pdf