Have you and your colleagues ever found yourselves asking:
- How do we know if what we are doing is achieving anything?
- What do our service users think?
- Is there anything we could be doing differently?
- How can we show funders their investment is bringing about change?
The answers to the above questions can be found in evaluation. Evaluation is the process of measuring impact. In its simplest terms, evaluation is a measurement of worth against a defined set of standards.
I have a wealth of expertise in evaluation and performance management which I have gained in my current and previous roles. I really enjoy the challenge of capturing social impact in creative and user friendly ways. I have completed a wide range of both short and long term evaluations for clients across the voluntary and community sector. I hold numerous Management and Development qualifications, which have included evaluation as core modules, and I am a qualified and accredited Social Auditor through the OCN (Open College Network).
My overall aim in evaluation is to produce honest and constructive reports that really help to guide improvements and promote genuine organisational learning. I strongly believe in robust consultation with all stakeholders and have delivered consultations with a broad range of groups including, young people, older people, people with disabilities etc.
I believe evaluation should be a progressive learning process, not a tick box event. I will work closely with you to plan and design a comprehensive yet creative methodology, conduct the research and provide you with an evaluation report, which will detail a thorough analysis of findings.
I can also provide evaluation support in the initial stages of a project’s establishment by working with you to design and implement an evaluation framework, which will ensure evaluation is fully embedded into all activities.
Some examples of my work
Focus on ability not disability
I recently had the wonderful opportunity to evaluate a project working with young people with learning disabilities and special education needs. The project provides real and meaningful learning and employment experiences, to enhance and develop self-confidence, skills and talents. I worked closely with staff to design a creative methodology to measure impact and progress. The methodology had, at it’s heart, meaningful, robust consultation with service users. Intent on ensuring all service users could have their say, I developed a range of creative and inclusive evaluation tools which included, focus groups, questionnaires, case studies, interviews and a creative, distance travelled art project.
You and Me, Mum (Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland)
I recently completed a comprehensive evaluation of the Women’s Aid Federation NI You and Me, Mum programme, a personal development programme delivered across Women’s Aid in Northern Ireland, to empower mothers to meet the needs of their children, affected by domestic violence. I worked closely with staff to design an evaluation methodology, including a range of both quantitative and qualitative methods. Determined to capture the views and experiences of mothers who had participated in the programme, I ensured the approach centred upon their active involvement through focus groups and case studies. The full evaluation report presents an in-depth evaluation of progress, key achievements, impact and areas for development relating to the You and Me, Mum programme.