Thinking about evaluation
Evaluation as a professional field has
only emerged in the second half of the 20th Century. What is
evaluation? What is its history? What is its role in society?
What's its connection with research? What conceptual models does
it use? What practical tools and strategies does it use?
This is list of key readings to
give staring points for thinking about these questions.
and planning a human service evaluation
If you wanted to evaluate a human service
at a particular service outlet, or a human service project, how
would you start to think about it.
This is a framework and tips getting started.
evaluation report outline for a human service evaluation
In planning an evaluation one of the
first questions to ask is what would the report look like? This
helps focus thinking about what you want to achieve through
the evaluation process.
This is a sample report outline to
help think about the question: what should the report look like.
D. What is the model of service?
When one is evaluating a human service it is useful to understand
what the model of service is.
This is a model for modes of human
E. The local community profile
Human services provide services to
people in communities. To understand the human service one also needs
to understand the community in which it operates. For example: Who
lives in the community? Who uses the service? What is happening at
the boundary between the community and the service where some people
become service users and others do not?
This is an outline of what one could
include in a community profile.
F. Reflecting on a human service - peer review
One way of reviewing a human service, human
service project or community development project is to bring it
to colleagues for peer review.
This is an outline of questions one might ask in
the peer review process.
G. Focus groups
Focus groups are useful in exploring questions such as:
What are the question to be explored?
What is the service or project story?
What does the service mean to you?
This is a brief overview of what focus groups are and tips for
running focus groups.
H. Case studies and
Interviews which allow people to tell stories than can then become
part of case studies are very useful.
This is some tips on telling stories,
writing stories and using stories.
I. Staff time use
In direct services the use of staff time
can be easy to track (hours of counselling, hours in home visiting
community development projects time use can be more difficult to
This is a tool for tracking time use for community development workers.
Questionnaires are a cost effective way of gathering data in evaluation
Here is more detail about questionnaires that
can be used in evaluating human services.