Evaluation is about finding out what works and what doesn’t work and how to measure the difference you are making by using indicators. Funders often ask for this information. Find out about organisations which can support you to evaluate.
What is evaluation?
Evaluation is about demonstrating the difference you are making and learning about what works and what does not work. Through evaluation you can learn more about your work and it can help inform what you do in future.
Evaluation involves asking questions of yourselves and your stakeholders, analysing the information and then reporting the findings. This evidence can then inform your future activities.
Why is evaluation important?
Evaluation is important as it helps us learn about what does and does not work and helps ensure that we use resources efficiently and effectively.
Evaluation is also about being accountable as well as about learning from our activities.
Who does evaluation?
Everyone should evaluate their activities.
Firstly, we must be accountable for our work. We must be able to demonstrate the difference that is made through our activities and show how we achieve this.
Secondly, we must continue to learn from our activities so that we can constantly develop practice that is effective. It is important to share learning as much as possible so that others can learn from our activities. In turn, it is important to consider how other people are evaluating their activities and the learning that could be gained from this.
Where to go for more information
- Evaluation Support Scotland: works with voluntary organisations and funders to provide support with evaluation
- Better Evaluation: guide to planning, designing, overseeing, and using an evaluation
- Inspiring Impact: resources to help you focus on the impact you are having
- NCVO Charities Evaluation Services: offers support to charities
- Public Health England Obesity Knowledge and Intelligence: a single point of contact for information on data, evaluation and evidence related to weight.
- Learning Evaluation and Planning (LEAP) framework: designed to support a partnership approach to achieving change; it is based on a 5-step planning and evaluation cycle
- What’s Cooking in Scotland: Part Two: how community food initiatives are finding out about the impact of cookery courses (CFHS 2012)
- Considering economic evidence – more food for thought (CFHS 2010)
- Addressing the challenges for evaluation and learning in community-led health: a practical briefing paper on the challenges of evaluation in Community-Led Health (NHS Health Scotland 2009)
- Economic Evidence for the Community and Voluntary Health Sector in Scotland: a report of a roundtable discussion and background information (NHS Health Scotland 2008)
Some CFHS evaluations
- Older people eat well: literature review (CFHS 2014)
- Evaluation of CHANGES Eat Well - Keep Well programme (CFHS 2014)
- Meta-synthesis of findings from evaluations and qualitative interviews of work involving community food and its impact on mental health and wellbeing (CFHS 2014)
- Evaluation of the impact of the Scottish Grocers Federation Healthy Living Programme on community retailers (CFHS 2014)
- Evaluation of Fife Community Kitchen (CFHS 2012)
- Evaluation of community-based mental health organisations training in food, nutrition and health funding 2010 (CFHS 2012)
- Evaluation of the Edinburgh Community Cafe Capacity Building Pilot Programme (CFHS 2010)
- An evaluation of Happy Jack: what is the economic value of the project? (CFHS 2010)
- Evaluation of the Food Train in terms of its Economic Value (CFHS 2010)