Evaluation is an ongoing process that enables you to examine what is working or not working throughout the course of your initiative and at the end of it. Evaluation helps you to demonstrate your program’s progress or success and to learn from shortcomings or when the initiative has not achieved its goals or desired impact.
Although we have placed “Evaluation” at the end of the toolkit, it should be considered throughout your process by taking in feedback and making necessary adjustments as you go.
By evaluating the initiative’s activities and outcomes — from Research and Planning, to Capacity Building, to Filming and Production, to Outreach, Distribution and Engagement — you can turn a critical lens to both the design and implementation of the initiative, as well as the initiative’s impact.
The information you collect allows you to better communicate your learning and your program’s impact to others, which is critical for improving public relations, boosting staff morale, and attracting and retaining support from current and potential funders, partners and communities. Sharing impact results also helps to advance the field as a whole — a kind of collective learning. In short, a comprehensive evaluation process can set the stage for a next collaboration.
For the most effective evaluation processes, it is best practice to involve your team, partners, stakeholders and the affected community. Their reflections and assessments will likely be more valuable than your own to reveal the insights and impact your Video for Change initiative has made.
The Impact Pathway model focuses on two evaluation approaches: ‘progress evaluation’ and ‘final evaluation’.
The amount of evaluation you do will depend on your resources, your strategy and your plan for using the information you collect. A full evaluation can be huge, and some large non-profits or universities can spend years evaluating an initiative.
Unfortunately, funders often don’t provide a lot of resources for evaluation. If you have the chance, however, we recommend putting five percent of your budget into this work and telling your funders why it is so important, so they know more about the effectiveness (or otherwise) of their funding strategy.