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Learning Through Evaluation


It has been a massive time of change for many in the charity evaluation sector. For many charities projects have been stopped and started, the needs of communities have shifted, and funding has been turned on its head. Evaluators across the sector have had to adapt to fast changing environments in which decision makers are ever more hungry for data and evidence to help them find a way through complexity. Throughout the pandemic, many of us have been looking to new evaluation designs and methods (or back to old ones) to ensure that evaluations deliver timely learning and insight.


Our Autumn 2021 members event - titled Learning Through Evaluation - will help us to reflect on what has been useful about some of the methods that have been utilised throughout the pandemic and how they remain relevant in the future.


We will be looking at:

  • Developmental Evaluation – an approach to evaluation which focuses on evolving measures and iterative process as an integral part of a project or service development.


  • Rapid Cycle Evaluation- an approach which uses frequent feedback on set goals to enable projects to adapt to changes quickly and develop services, projects or products.


  • Learning Partners – where organisations work in partnership to share learning and knowledge and increase capacity by carrying out complementary research, and connecting with diverse stakeholders and evidence.


  • Human Centred Design – processes by which service users and other stakeholders are actively engaged in the design, development and delivery of services ,products or measures to ensure it meets the needs of people impacted and engaged with the process

We will be sharing some examples of learning through evaluation, case studies and more via the members forum over the next few months but in the meantime, here are some useful links and additional reading:


PDF covering areas of evaluation in developing health interventions from The Health Foundation


Article from Better Evaluation discussing the differences between developmental and traditional evaluation


The Resource Library from The Developmental Evaluation Institute


Reflections on Rapid Cycle Evaluation from the Nuffield Trust


We are really keen to hear from ChEW Members on what you would like to know about these topics, what you would like to share from your own organisations work or what you’ve seen in the sector you’d like to know more about or share with others. Our membership forum has a special category where you can share questions, case studies, and discuss the topic with other members.

Join our next quarterly event on 24th September to hear from a range of perspectives on this topic. Not a member yet? Find out more about joining here to access our regular events and other benefits.


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