It is good practice to use monitoring and evaluation methodologies to track progress of program design and implementation as you move through the initiative. This allows you to make judgments about a program, to improve its effectiveness and possibly inform programming decisions. We suggest some methodologies below.
A progress evaluation can happen at any point of your project. It can be as short as a 15-minute check-in during the middle of a stage. For an evaluation such as this, we suggest using this feedback loops worksheet.
It can also be a milestone evaluation once you’ve completed a stage, e.g. at the end of your filming. One of the advantages of doing progress evaluations is that you can roll all the data and information you collect through your progress evaluations into your final evaluation, so it is important (and much more efficient) to collect as you go.
Trying to find everything at the end will be difficult, and if you have to report to funders, collecting and evaluating throughout the initiative will also save you a lot of time. It may also assist your outreach efforts by providing you with information to regularly update your stakeholders.
Take a moment and reflect on what has happened at any given step of the initiative. Build in moments for reflection as often as you see fit. We recommend you do short evaluations after specific activities or milestones. You can start by asking everyone if they felt they achieved what they wanted, and how they know. These short evaluations are important because they:
- allow participants to express their thoughts and feelings about content
- enable participants to learn from each other
- gather ‘live’ feedback
- provide insights into how to improve your activity next time
- create a positive and open environment.