Learning patterns/Evaluating project outcomes
What problem does this solve?
Writing program evaluations for interim and final grant reports can be a challenge. Even if you know that a program or event went very well or didn't quite go as planned, it can be difficult to describe these outcomes in a report, especially if the person writing the report wasn't involved in the project. Simply stating how many people attended a photo walk, or how many new articles were written at an editathon doesn't give a clear picture of whether the project went as planned and accomplished what you hoped it would.
What is the solution?
Determine a set of goals or measures of success at the beginning of a project or program, then map your interim and final results back to these goals. Consider using a table to display project goals and outcomes clearly in your report. Sharing outcomes in this way allows you to showcase what went better than expected, share experiences from projects did not achieve intended outcomes and explain how your project plans may have changed. Looking at your goals and outcomes side-by-side can also highlight goals that were either too ambitious or not challenging enough, which will be helpful for setting realistic goals in your next project proposal.
- In your project proposal, it's important to set goals that can be measured, and indicate how you plan to measure them.
- It's also important to set achievable goals.