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Use this page to understand the first steps you need to take before carrying out an evaluation.
The first step in evaluation is understanding:
You could carry out a ‘needs assessment’ (for example, research into the needs of a community), reviewing the challenges being faced to find out the best ways to address them.
You may also consider what individual or community assets (resources and skills available in the community) are available, and where there are opportunities to involve the people you work with in developing solutions.
Read more about completing a needs assessment.
By looking at others’ research, local or national statistics (that have already examined the issue you’re interested in), talking to existing or potential groups or other stakeholders, and drawing on your own expertise, you can find out:
The issues that you identify don’t need to be ones that your organisation can solve quickly or single-handedly.
They may be long-term problems where your organisation’s work will be part of a solution, rather than ones that you can solve on your own.
Try to consider the causes of any problems you identify, as these may suggest ways in which your work can contribute to a solution.
Be mindful of power dynamics. You need to carefully consider:
Read more about NCVO’s values and principles for ideas on how to mitigate imbalances.
Last reviewed: 18 September 2023Help us improve this content
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