How to monitor and evaluate prevention programmes
Services are under increasing pressure to evidence the effectiveness of their work. Whilst this is important for future funding, it is also an important tool to measure the outcomes of the work and to ensure that young people have been involved appropriately. The findings can be used to improve projects and services in the future. Evaluation techniques can be both quantitative (numbers and figures) and qualitative (nonnumerical feedback). It is important that evaluation is an ongoing practice which takes place during the life of the project. Evaluations can be done internally or via an external evaluator, but in both cases should include a range of stakeholders and, where possible, young people should be involved in designing and carrying out the evaluation themselves. This is a skill that can be integrated into their peer leadership training.
There are a range of elements to evaluate, each with various methods of collecting data. It is important to evaluate the young people who are participating and leading the work as well as those they are working with, and other key stakeholders.
There are several key issues to evaluate including:
• The well-being of all participants
• Skills, attitudes, knowledge and confidence
• Satisfaction with the project – what went well, what could be improved
Where possible, data should be collected before, during and after each project in order to show change and to inform future delivery. Equalities monitoring is also important to ensure your project is inclusive and reaching as many different groups as possible.
There are a number of tools you can use to evaluate this work. Here are a few suggestions:
The Domestic Violence Learning Scale – this can be used to measure knowledge, attitudes and behaviours about domestic violence. It should be done before and after any lessons or interventions in order to assess any change as a result of the work.
Session Feedback Form – this can be used by teachers or whoever has facilitated the lesson/group session in order to reflect on how well the session went and what could be improved.
The Paul Hamlyn Foundation Evaluation Resource Pack – this contains lots of useful information about evaluation methods.
The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale – this scale is often used by projects to assess well-being before and after a piece of work/intervention.