If you’re a practitioner
The Evaluate phase means working with your program team and evaluators to support the evaluation of a practice, program or service.
You will have an evaluation plan. As a practitioner you could have a range of roles depending on the approach that your organisation has developed. You might have a role in ethically engaging clients, invited to reflect on the implementation and outcomes of your work in an interview or focus group and/or requested to provide data to support the evaluation.
Once an evaluation is complete, you should have the opportunity to discuss evaluation findings and recommendations and consider what these may mean for your practice with clients.
Gathering data for evaluation
High quality data can help you understand if you are on track and if and how clients are benefiting from their engagement with a service. If you are responsible for collecting data, there is lots to consider, including respecting client confidentiality, being cautious of potential power imbalances and accommodating for diverse literacy levels.
Ensure that methods and tools are fit for purpose and evaluation processes are ethical. Become familiar with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007) – Updated 2018.
Consider how best to engage your client group in the evaluation process. There are lots of resources out there including:
- NHMRC’s Ethical conduct in research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and communities
- Cultural Competent Evaluation from Better Evaluation
- Collecting data from parents and children for the purpose of evaluation
Practice Sheet from the Australian Institute for Family Studies.
Some helpful steps in the Evaluate phase can include:
- Gain clarity on your responsibilities within the evaluation process
- Work with evaluators to engage clients and/or collect data
- Participate in the review of findings and conclusions to determine steps to achieve better outcomes.
Try these techniques to help as you ‘Evaluate’:
- Work with program management and colleagues to understand the evaluation process including ethics, responsibilities and timeline
- Follow ethics processes, including clearly explaining data collection and use to your clients and seeking informed consent
- Alongside colleagues and key stakeholders, reflect on client feedback and practice experience and review evaluation findings and recommendations to adapt, sustain or, where agreed, cease or roll-back delivery of a service.
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