Evaluation

Program evaluation is done in parallel with all other program activities. By conducting evaluation in this way, the program benefits from knowing how effectively things are being done.

Doing program evaluation effectively requires planning for it at the start of the program. Planning for evaluation involves defining the scope of the research and confirming methods of gathering information. Doing this will ensure that you have what you need to draw conclusions about how well the program is travelling and the impacts the program is making.

One way of determining the research for your evaluation is to develop a program logic model. The program logic model is a visual representation of the relationships between three important pieces of information:

  • Key activities of the program
  • What happens when these are undertaken
  • Differences or changes you can expect as a result of the activities and its outputs

Program evaluation should take place concurrently with all program activities. By conducting evaluation in this way, we are able to assess how effectively things are being done, and make necessary changes in a timely way.

Conducting program evaluation effectively requires planning for it at the beginning of the program. Planning for evaluation involves defining the scope of the research, confirming data collection methods and frequency and setting program outcomes. Doing this will ensure that you are collecting appropriate evaluation data to measure the programs impact and the supportive processes to get there.


An evaluation plan

Preparing an evaluation plan will help to remind you of the process and impact evaluation activities that need to be done, by whom and when. The evaluation plan is a companion document to a work plan. An evaluation plan template is available in the Girls Talk – Guys Talk manual.

One supporting method is to develop a program logic model. The program logic model is a visual representation of the relationships between three important pieces of information:

  • Key activities of the program
  • What happens when these are undertaken
  • Differences or changes you can expect as a result of the activities and its outputs

Methods of data collection

Girls Talk – Guys Talk uses the following methods for data collection:

Process data

  • Minutes from meetings, planning documents, program logic development.
  • Recording the number of parent information nights, professional development and other training components that have taken place
  • Midway and final evaluation activities with members of the Girls Talk – Guys Talk Student Working Group

Assessing the acceptability and impact within the school community

  • Feedback from parents post- information session
  • Interviews with the Secondary School Nurse, School Welfare Coordinator or Health and Wellbeing Coordinator, Local Youth Worker, Principal, Assistant Principal, and others actively involved in the program
  • Observations or field notes recorded by Program Coordinator and Key Contact Person
  • Journal kept by the Program Coordinator to capture challenges and reflections
  • Interviews with members of the Girls Talk – Guys Talk Student Working Group and selected staff members for medium term impacts

Assessing the curriculum (acceptability, impact and appropriateness)

  • Student pre and post- session knowledge assessment
  • Post-session debriefing with teaching staff