Evaluation – what does it really mean for your communication or engagement project?

Evaluation is a common word in communication and engagement circles, and yet it is often overlooked or hastily considered at the conclusion of a project.

While evaluation takes time and resources and may be considered a low priority for your organisation, it can mean the difference between success and failure. Better still, evaluation can be entirely cost-effective.

Regular and effective evaluation at different points of the project is critical for a number of reasons:

  1. It provides valuable information on whether your project is reaching target audiences in the right way.
  2. You can assess the value of your methodologies and whether your budget is being spent wisely.
  3. You can create a benchmark for what works well and what doesn’t for future projects.
  4. You will gain credibility if you can demonstrate that your project is reaching its goals or you’ve shifted focus to reach goals.
  5. You will ensure transparency and accountability.
  6. When things don’t operate as expected, you can find answers and resolve the problem.
  7. You will cut long term costs by addressing problems or issues as they happen.
  8. The information will help you to develop more effective strategies or programs in the future.


5 evaluation techniques that won’t cost the earth:

  1. Surveys – tools such as Survey Monkey are cheap and easy to implement
  2. Feedback forms/email – ask participants to fill out a quick form or send an email requesting feedback post workshop.
  3. Verbal feedback – have a conversation and ask people up-front what they thought of a process/method and what their experiences were like
  4. Count – conduct an audit on how many responses you have received and from which groups
  5. Review responses – Analyse the responses and categorise to assess the ‘mood’ (for example positive/negative)