People don’t want to fund projects, or organisations, or even people – they want to fund change. And they want to work with professionals who know the territory.
Last week I introduced the three hallmarks of a good evaluation plan and covered the first of those, “relevance”, in some detail. This week, I’m unpacking the others.
The second hallmark is evidence that evaluation, as planned, will promote learning and change within an organisation. In our experience at Get the Data, we know that not all organisations are ready for change, so reassuring funding bodies of that willingness at the outset is a good tactical move. You can support this by engaging with changemakers within your organisation – those individuals who, if the evaluation demands change, have the desire and ability to make it happen.
For our part, Get the Data’s cutting edge predictive analyses are helping practitioners to identify what will work best for their clients. Managers are using that information to improve interventions, predict future impact and, in the case of social impact bonds, forecast future income. All of which, of course, goes to demonstrate a focus on improving results through intelligent change.
Knowing Your Stuff
The third and final hallmark of a good evaluation plan is evidence of technical competence which will reassure funding assessors that they are dealing with people who are truly immersed in the field in which they are working.
In practice, that means employing the agreed professional nomenclature of inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts; and also demonstrating an awareness of the appropriate methods for impact and process evaluation. Though this is partly about sending certain signals (like wearing appropriate clothing to a job interview) it is by no means superficial: it also enables assessors to compare your bid fairly against others, like for like, which is especially important in today’s competitive environment. In effect, it makes their job easier.
Organisations that commission Get the Data are working with some of the most vulnerable people in society. We value their work and are committed to using quantitative methods of evaluation to determine their impact. We are proud that our impact evaluations are not only delivering definitive reports on the impact of their work but also play a decisive role in ensuring vital interventions continue. A rigorous evaluation is a business case, a funding argument and publicity material all in one.
I hope you have found this short introduction to the hallmarks of a good evaluation plan useful. If you want to learn more about how our social impact analytics can support your application for grant funding then contact me or sign up for a free one-hour Strategic Impact Assessment via our website.