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Choosing your method

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Use this page to find out about the process of choosing evaluation methods, and what some of those common evaluation methods are.

Once you’ve had a look at our guidance on understanding the issue you need to focus on, you’re in a good position to decide on what evaluation methods to use.

Your evaluation methods should collect data to help you:

  • answer your evaluation questions
  • measure your outcomes
  • learn about your work.

You’ll need to choose your evaluation methods in the planning stage of the evaluation cycle.

Decide on your method

You’ll need to consider the following questions:

  • What methods are suitable for the people you work with, their preferences, rights and needs? Ideally, they would be involved in choosing or designing the methods.
  • How much budget do you have?
  • How much time and skill do you have available for data collection and analysis?
  • The ultimate audience for your evaluation. Will they find these methods credible?
  • Do you need different perspectives or types of data?
  • What is appropriate for your organisation and its values?
  • Are you collecting data virtually or in person?

Types of data and evidence methods

Example

To answer this you would use quantitative data such as local employment statistics, or a follow-up survey of people who used the service to identify their employment status.

To answer this you would use qualitative data such as interviews, focus groups or potentially creative methods.

After you have collected data, you’ll need to analyse and use your data.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 18 September 2023

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