Saturday, 20 November 2010

Evaluation Workshop

The external evaluator for this project  is Professor Mick Healey who ran a workshop with the team on 19th November 2010 to discuss good methods of evaluation.  It was suggested that we should use the Theory of Change approach (Hart et al., 2009) to evaluate our project. 

Mick outlines that:
"The framework attempts to develop an understanding of the relationships between outcomes and the activities

and contextual factors which may influence the outcomes.  One of the attractions of the ToC approach is that it may be used to extend our understanding of a project, rather than audit it.  Hence the key question in our case might be, for example: “What have we learned about enhancing fieldwork learning?”.  It is essentially a narrative approach, which tells the story of the project."

The team completed the pro-forma with the headings:
Components of Theory of Change
1.    Current situation:
2.    Enabling Factors / Resources:
3.    Processes / Activities:
4.    Desired Outcomes:
5.    Longer-term impact:

This approach facilitated a brainstorming session and one of the key outcomes of this approach was the decision that the name of the project should be changed to the more generic: Enhancing Fieldwork Learning.

The first version of the Theory of Change will be our baseline from which all subsequent versions can be compared to to demonstrate how the project has changed and moved forward.

Hart, D., Diercks-O’Brien, A.G. and Powell, A. (2009) Exploring stakeholder engagement in impact evaluation planning in educational development work, Evaluation, 15: 285-306

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