Methods of Evaluation
Joy Marie M. Alcazar
III-26 BS Psychology
• Aims to address both the practical concerns of people (in a
community, organisation etc) and the goals of research through
people working together on projects. Action research is a way to
increase understanding of how change in one's actions or practices
can mutually benefit a community of practitioners
• Literature research can set the professional context for the Action
Learning process. The local context can be established through
participant input. Action research takes time to train and acclimatise
• Appreciative Inquiry is a form of action research that attempts to help
groups, organisations and communities create new visions for
themselves based on an affirmative understanding of their past.
• Research into how Appreciative Inquiry has worked in other
communities, expanding on the basic 4D model: Discover the best of
what is; Dream what might be; Design what should be; create a
Destiny based on what will be. As in any intervention, wrong
application can have adverse outcomes.
• Benchmarking is the process of comparing your performance to that
of other leading organisations, groups or communities.Typically it
involves the use of specific measures that give an 'apples to apples'
comparison, and is often used as a longitudinal measure of change
• Benchmarking frequently involves surveys, so training and experience
in survey design and application is important if the results are to be
rigorous and meaningful.
• The most basic (and essential) form of measure, simply counting the
number of participants, the nature of participation, and the obvious
results of that participation - for example: the number of people who
attended a 'return to work' course, the results for each of the classes
within that course, and the number of graduates who gained
• A good understanding of what your organisation, your team and your
community think is important to measure. Some training in
establishing, recording and analysing effective measures.
• A focus group is a structured discussion with pre-selected individuals
intended to collect information or gauge opinion on a specific issue or
• Focus groups are typically part of a larger evaluation process that
might involve literature research, surveys or any of the many other
• Formal Impact Assessments are increasingly required as a part of
policy planning, particularly in sensitive communities and
environments, typically the purpose of the Impact Assessment is to
anticipate the consequences of policy and service decisions on
different communities and make sure that any negative consequences
are eliminated or minimized and opportunities are maximized
• A clear understanding of the policy, program or project that is to be
tested - Impact Assessments need to test the effect of the specific
details of the policy or program.
• Interviews are typically one:one or small group
(eg focus group) question and answer sessions aimed at
gathering both facts and insights. Interviews can be
conducted face to face or by telephone, and even
using computer based methods such as messaging or video-conferencing.
• Interviewers (and those designing interview questions) should be trained and
experienced, as interviewer bias is a real (and common) threat to the validity of
the results. Different cultures respond differently to interviews - giving
unexpected results (and potentially causing offence), please check your interview
methods for cultural sensitivity when designing your evaluation.
• Learning occurs when we take in information, think about it, make
sense of it, and fit it in with what we already know. Reflective writing
using a journal has the potential to provide us with a systematic
approach to our development as reflective, critical and constructive
• Do some research into the ethics of the use of journal material before
embarking on this method.
• At its most basic, observation is where someone physically goes and looks
at a place or event, watches situations or interactions, or takes part in the
life of the community or a population while recording what he finds as a
result. Two types of observation are used in community development
evaluation: Direct Observation - where the the observer is an unidentified
'fly on the wall' (generally with permission of those being observed);
Participant Observation - where the observer takes part in the activity with
the participants and asks questions.
• As with an interview, an observation will be far more useful if the observer
understands not just what to do and how to do it, but exactly why it's being
done, and how the findings will be used.
• A simple count of the number of participants
commencing, retained at certain points, and
concluding a program (or employment).
• An understanding of what you are counting and why
• A method of gathering information from a sample of
individuals (a sample is the number of people within
the population being studied), and can be done faceto-face, on the phone, by mail or online. Information
is collected by means of standardised procedures so
that every individual is asked the same questions in
more or less the same way.
“True genius resides in the capacity
for evaluation of uncertain,
hazardous, and conflicting
• Tulio, Doris D., 2008. A Breakthrough in School
Guidance and Counseling. Quezon City.