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  1. What is specific about evaluating research?

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    The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Canada primarily funds and facilitates global South-based research for development (R4D).  Its mandate is: “To initiate, encourage, support, and conduct research into the problems of the developing regions of the world and into the means for applying and adapting scientific, technical, and other knowledge to the economic and social advancement of those regions.

    Also Available In: Français
  2. ToC table

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    Process Inadequate practice Adequate practice Better practice
    1. Process for developing the theory of change Brainstorm with Post-It notes or just repackage planning documents
  3. Theory of change- guidance on developing, representing, and using

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    This page sets out some suggestions about what might be considered good practice, adequate practice and inadequate practice in developing, representing and using programme theory (also known as theory of change or logic models).  Please add your feedback and suggestions in our forum or share your comments on twitter @bettereval or FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/BetterEvaluation

  4. 52 Weeks of BetterEvaluation 2014

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    Our second year of 52 weeks of BetterEvaluation! Check out last year's here.

  5. ASK- High Level FAQs

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    High Level Questions

    How do I design an evaluation?
    How do I select and manage an evaluator?
    How do I use a particular evaluation option?
    How do I know if the program caused the results I can see?
    How do I check the quality of an evaluation?

  6. Evaluation Challenges

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    Evaluation Challenges

    How do I evaluate a project/program/policy when the results will only be visible in the long term?

    How do I evaluate a project/program/policy when there is no baseline data?

    How do I evaluate a project/program/policy when there is no control group?

    How do I evaluate a project/program/policy?

  7. Share benefits and apply two-way learning

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    Community transformation principle

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples involved in, or affected by, evaluation should benefit from the evaluation project and not be disadvantaged by it.

    Click here to find out how to put this into practice

    Application

    Evaluation must drive and support positive transformation for and of communities.

    All data and reports produced in relation to the evaluation must be made available for the use of communities.

    Data must be relevant to the community and empower sustainable self-determination and effective self-governance.

    Community priorities principle

    Evaluation must reflect the priorities of the community.

    Click here to find out how to put this into practice

    Application

    In addition to the evaluation purpose provided by the commissioner, ensure that the community’s purpose for the evaluation is included. Consider both equally important.

    Ensure that community members are involved in the meta-evaluation, analysis and interpretation of results. This will ensure community priorities are not over-looked at key stages of the evaluation process.

    Consider how an evaluation report can equip communities to better advocate and influence for community self-determination.

    Community standards and criteria matter. When determining what ‘success looks like’, develop the standards and metrics in partnership with community as well as the commissioner.

    Work closely with the community to develop the recommendations of the report.

    Strengthen capacity principle

    Evaluation must strengthen capacity and capability for decision making and voluntary actions of participants and the communities in which they live.

    Click here to find out how to put this into practice

    Application

    Determine whether there are community members who can assist with conducting the evaluation, or who have been involved in evaluations before. Include their salary in your budget.

    Prior to evaluation commencement negotiate with community ways in which the evaluation could consider capacity strengthening methods such as: mentoring, community of practice, peer coaching, supervised practice in teams, reflective practice and learning circle. Include these in your budget from the start.

    Consider recommendations in the report that will support capacity building and voluntary actions within the project or program being evaluated.

    Share results principle

    Evaluation results must be presented and available to communities in a form that is translatable to community needs.

    Click here to find out how to put this into practice

    Application

    In conjunction with your evaluation commissioner, consider community members as the equal primary intended user of the evaluation.

    Discuss with community members how the findings of the data could be presented visually or through other relevant forms e.g. artistic expressions.

    Formalise at the start of the evaluation how the community will be presented the data for the evaluation. Consider several feedback sessions through the data analysis process.

    Ensure that the report is available to the community for its own use and support them to make use of it. This may include providing the data in different formats. Ensure this requirement is included in the evaluation budget and approved by the commissioner.

    Prioritise self-determination, community agency and self-governance Please look at all the other themes – they are equally important Key themes Barriers Limited scope from commissioner Power and privilege Limited cultural understanding Can’t find community protocols Time restrictions No cultural mentor No tools or templates Data gate keeping Resource constraints Communicate transparently, build trust and obtain individual and community consent Strengths-based recognition of cultures, acknowledging communities and individuals Share benefits and apply two-way learning Formalise accountability processes on ethical practice Facilitate control and data sovereignty COURAGE, INTEGRITY, & CULTURAL HUMILITY

    Acknowledgements

    We would like to acknowledge and thank Maria Stephens, an Arrabi/Binning woman who speaks the Iwaidja language. She generously provided her artwork for this page.

  8. Browse Questions

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    Browse through these frequently asked questions (and our answers!) for some helpful thoughts on this new website, as well as evaluation theory and practice.

    High-level Questions

  9. Formalise accountability processes on ethical practice

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    Accountability principle

    Include appropriate mechanisms and procedures for reporting on ethical aspects of the research and complying with this ethical protocol.

    Click here to find out how to put this into practice

    Application

    Formalise the free, prior informed consent with a form for participants to sign. Consider including a check list to make sure each element of the evaluation has been discussed and understood by the participant.

    Develop a photo /video consent form if taking photos and footage of community members that may have not signed a consent form to participate in the evaluation. Explain how the photos and footage will be used before asking for consent.

    Contracts with evaluation commissioners must allow communities access to, and ownership of, data collected and created as a result of the evaluation, including all reports created.

    Consider the use of an ethics committee or independent assessment of the ethical approach of an evaluation. Check in regularly with the committee or assessor if changes have been made to the evaluation process or team members. Where available, include a community-based ethics group.

    Prioritise self-determination, community agency and self-governance Please look at all the other themes – they are equally important Key themes Barriers Limited scope from commissioner Power and privilege Limited cultural understanding Can’t find community protocols Time restrictions No cultural mentor No tools or templates Data gate keeping Resource constraints Communicate transparently, build trust and obtain individual and community consent Strengths-based recognition of cultures, acknowledging communities and individuals Share benefits and apply two-way learning Formalise accountability processes on ethical practice Facilitate control and data sovereignty COURAGE, INTEGRITY, & CULTURAL HUMILITY

    Acknowledgements

    We would like to acknowledge and thank Maria Stephens, an Arrabi/Binning woman who speaks the Iwaidja language. She generously provided her artwork for this page.

  10. Approaches

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    Approaches (on this site) refer to an integrated package of options (methods or processes). For example, 'Randomized Controlled Trials' (RCTs) use a combination of the options random sampling, control group and standardised indicators and measures.

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