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Through evaluation, individuals and organisations have an opportunity to understand more about what they’re doing, how things are (or aren’t) working, and why. Using this learning to reflect, adapt and change is a vital part of what makes evaluation useful – and what will make your activities, programmes or organisation a success.
There are many benefits of evaluation and a number of different ways to use your evaluation findings. Whether you want to secure funding, demonstrate accountability, share your learning for the benefit of the sector, or make your programmes more effective, using what you have found out is a vital part of the evaluation process. Whatever your findings show, the value is in using and acting upon what they say.
Evaluation findings can be used to engage the public, your supporters, or others in the sector in the work you do. Use them to improve your communications and share the success stories of the difference you’re making. But don’t only report the good bits – evaluation is about learning and that means being honest about your findings.
Read more about using your evaluation findings to engage external audiences.
Many organisations start thinking about evaluation when they receive funding, grants or contracts. But reporting on your progress isn’t just a box to tick: evaluation means being accountable to those supporting your work. Your evaluation can also be a powerful tool for gaining future funding.
Read more about sharing your evaluation findings with funders and donors.
Your evaluation findings can be used to strengthen the way your organisation works, make it more effective, and help you make informed decisions in the future. Incorporating the learning from your evaluation into your programme plans and organisational strategy can help establish an impact culture – one based on evidence, learning and improvement.
Read more about using your evaluation findings to improve your work.
Charities and voluntary organisations are accountable to more people than those who fund them; they are also accountable to trustees, partners, beneficiaries and the Charity Commission, among others. Accountability can also help rebuild public trust and confidence in the voluntary sector – something that has dropped in recent years.
Last reviewed: 28 July 2017Help us improve this content
In this edition, Sandy Chidley, senior consultant, spotlights opportunities in impact and evaluation and shares useful evaluation resources and training opportunities
Guide to communicating your findings in a way that will encourage people to read them and take action
Guide to evaluating projects and programmes to make sure work is effective.
Guite to writing an evaluation report helps you share key findings and recommendations with internal and external stakeholders.
Analysing qualitative data will help you produce findings on the nature of change that individuals or organisations you work with have experienced.
Analysis involves finding patterns and themes in the data you have collected for your evaluation to make sense of it. Analysing your data will help you report on it effectively and use it to make decisions.
Developing a monitoring and evaluation framework helps clarify which pieces of information to collect to evidence your story of change.
A theory of change is a description of why a particular way of working will be effective, showing how change happens in the short, medium and long term to achieve the intended impact.
A simple tool which helps you reflect on, and clarify, the connections between the work you deliver and the difference it makes.
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