Resources: Where can I find out more?
Some suggestions for further reading in addition to the resources highlighted elsewhere in this guidance.
A3.1 Guides from the UK
Evaluating community projects: A practical guide
Marilyn Taylor, Derrick Purdue, Mandy Wilson and Pete Wilde (2005)
York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation
This simple guide has record sheets to fill in, to help with thinking about the work and planning the evaluation. It also describes some of the main different ways of collecting data (questionnaire survey; in-depth interviews; feedback forms; focus groups and roundtable discussions; diaries; press reports; observation; case studies; evaluation workshops and review meetings) and what each is useful for.
The Magenta Book: Guidance for evaluation
HM Treasury (2011)
London: HM Treasury
A resource from the UK government for evaluating policies. It is a long document, but is helpful if you are carrying out a programme based on government policy or hoping to influence policy. Part B is the relevant section, and in particular:
- Chapter 5: steps to take into account when designing an evaluation
- Chapter 6: different kinds of evaluation
- Chapter 7: key considerations for collecting data
- Chapter 8: how to conduct high quality action research and case studies.
The key questions to consider when collecting data can be summarised as:
- What data needs to be gathered to give a reliable measurement against the project objectives?
- What additional data needs to be collected to meet any requirements for feedback on the project and to support any evaluation? (eg contact details of participants, financial information, outcome-related data)
- Who will have responsibility for gathering data? What resources do they need?
- When will the data be gathered? What are the key timeframes?
- In what format is the data required? How will the data be gathered, transferred and stored?
- How will the data be verified to ensure it is accurate and meets requirements?
Standards of Evidence
Ruth Puttick and Joe Ludlow (2013)
A short paper that gives an overview of different levels of evidence, from “You can describe what you do and why it matters, logically, coherently and convincingly” to “You have manuals, systems and procedures to ensure consistent replication and positive impact”.
Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit
National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Institute for Volunteering Research (2015)
A detailed toolkit to help organisations assess the difference that volunteering makes to beneficiaries, volunteers and the organisation itself. It also has step by step guidance on how to carry out research, and the booklet price includes access to downloadable tools and templates, such as questionnaires. NCVO also runs training on assessing the impact of volunteers – see its website.
Toolkit price: £35 (NCVO members) or £50 (non-members).
NCVO has provided a discount code for FaithAction members which gives 10% off all purchases. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the code.
A3.2 Guides from outside the UK
Evaluating Community-based Child Health Promotion Programs: A Snapshot of Strategies and Methods
Ann Cullen, Tavanya Giles and Jill Rosenthal (2006)
Portland, ME: National Academy for State Health Policy
A US document that takes a selection of examples of health promotion interventions and describes how each one was evaluated. It includes links to the tools (such as surveys) used and further information.
Evaluating Health Promotion Programs
Public Health Ontario (2012)
Ontario: Agency for Health Protection and Promotion
A presentation that goes through the steps to think through when doing an evaluation of a health promotion programme. It is Canadian but much of it can be applied to the UK. The steps it recommends are: clarify programme; engage stakeholders; assess resources; organise and select evaluation questions; determine methods of measurement and procedures; develop work plan, budget and timeline; collect data; process data and analyse the results; interpret and disseminate results; take action.
Looking at Evaluation of Your Faith-Based Intervention/Program: What’s the Big Deal?
Jennifer Payne (2005)
Presented at: NACSW Convention 2005 October, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Botsford, CT: North American Association of Christians in Social Work.
An academic paper from the US, giving food for thought on evaluating faith-based projects, including a worked example.
Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation of Community- and Faith-based Programs: A step-by-step guide for people who want to make HIV and AIDS services and activities more effective in their community
Meera Kaul Shah, Sarah Degnan Kambou, Lakshmi Goparaju, Melissa K. Adams, and James M. Matarazzo (Eds.) (2004)
Washington, DC: CORE Initiative
A detailed guide that takes a participatory evaluation approach, produced in association with the US Agency for International Development and using some examples from African contexts.
A3.3 Organisations and websites
A detailed website that aims to improve evaluation practice and theory by sharing information about methods and approaches. It is an international project but based in Australia.
Charities Evaluation Services
Part of NCVO, this organisation provides training, consultancy and publications to help charities improve their performance. It also conducts independent evaluations. Its website includes tools to help you think about your aims, objectives, outputs and outcomes.
The International Religious Health Assets Programme (IRHAP)
IRHAP works to promote collaboration and increase knowledge about religious health ‘assets’. It focuses on mapping health-related FBOs in Africa, building connections between faith and other public health groups, and researching religion and public health. At the time of writing, the IRHAP website was not functioning, but more information can be found at the above address.
NPC (New Philanthropy Capital) is a charity think tank and consultancy helping charities and funders to achieve the greatest impact. Its website includes free publications to help charities develop a theory of change and measure their impact.
Social Research Association (SRA)
The SRA has resources to help researchers on its website, including a one-page briefing on ‘What is high quality social research?’
Public Health Practice Evaluation Scheme (PHPES)
PHPES is a scheme for public health practitioners who want to carry out evaluations of innovative local public health projects. Practitioners can partner with voluntary and community sector organisations – including FBOs – on projects, and apply for funding to evaluate the work. It is run by the School for Public Health Research (part of the National Institute for Health Research). Project must meet certain criteria, and the scheme has ‘rounds’ for applications, so is not open all of the time.
Workplace Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website
Guidance for evaluating work-based health programmes, based in the US. Useful for thinking through what needs to be done to evaluate a health programme, particularly in the section ‘Defining the program and forming the evaluation’.