Make Informed Decisions
Evaluation is the practical cousin of research, intended to inform real-life decisions. It involves the systematic collection and analysis of information, usually about the activities, characteristics and outcomes of an initiative. At Cathexis, we approach evaluation as a learning process.
An evaluation might answer these types of questions:
- How relevant is this initiative?
- What is the context in which the initiative was implemented?
- How was the initiative implemented, and who did it serve?
- What changes were there in outcomes of interest?
- What contributed to the changes in outcomes? To what extent, and how, did the initiative contribute?
- What else might be done to improve outcomes?
- What is the value of this initiative, relative to other possible interventions?
- How can the initiative be improved?
Use Evaluation to Do Good
With answers to these questions, you can make better decisions about how to use your limited resources to make the world a better place, whether by improving a specific program, choosing to invest in an effective initiative, or coordinating the efforts of several organizations to have a stronger impact on a shared goal.
Do Good Evaluation
It is easy to do an evaluation, but quite challenging to do it well. Cathexis consultants have the expertise needed to guide you through this process. We can:
- Engage key stakeholders in the evaluation / learning process
- Help you define your evaluation questions
- Develop an evaluation design that will provide credible answers, balance rigour with practical constraints, mitigate potential implementation challenges, and satisfy government or funder requirements
- Collect and analyse data using a variety of methods
- Synthesize the findings in user-friendly reports and presentations
- Make recommendations based on the findings
Plan for Evaluation from the Start
Planning a new program or initiative? If so, call us now, because this is the time to start planning for your evaluation. Why? Three reasons:
- Evaluation can provide important feedback that informs the early development of an initiative.
- It is easy to integrate data collection into service delivery from the start. It’s much harder (and more expensive) to tack it on later.
- This is the best time to collect baseline data that describes the state of affairs prior to your initiative. Baseline data is particularly helpful in determining the impact of an initiative.