Evaluation is the structured interpretation and giving of meaning to predicted or actual impacts of proposals or results. It looks at original objectives, and at what is either predicted or what was accomplished and how it was accomplished. So evaluation can be formative, that is taking place during the development of a concept or proposal of the project, with the intention of improving the value or effectiveness of the proposal of the project. It can also be assumptive, drawing lessons from a completed action of the project a later point in time or circumstance.
A systematic and regular evaluation helps you to determine success of your project better. You can thus regulate not only the process of planning and implementation, but also you can say something about the effect of your project at the end. Besides, you learn what others think of the project and if they share your estimation of your success.
It is not the matter of pure collection of problems and deficits when you evaluate! You discover or prove yourself as well what you can do particularly well, what makes you happy, which competences you have won.
Evaluation is a process accompanying your whole project work. You check the work thus not only, when a problem arises – “Oh, tomorrow is the registration deadline and we have only ten instead of fifteen people” – or everything is done. It makes more sense to examine your work process several times, for example when a task or a project phase is accomplished (see: Reflection and Evaluation).
An example: You plan a seminar with 15 participants. To find them, you decided to distribute flyers and posters. During the registration period you should observe whether you find enough participants (and set success criteria for a certain date/period that help you to measure, if everything works like you planned). The difference between planning and reality shows you, if and how fundamental your PR strategy should be applied.
- Reflection and Evaluation
- Checklist: Process of evaluation
- Goals and criteria of evaluation
- Dissemination & Exploitation of Results