Develop reporting media
You may develop a number of reports, in different formats, for different sets of stakeholders.
Work with your primary users and stakeholders to determine when and in what form they want to receive evaluation reports. Also determine who you will involve in viewing draft and interim reports.
Points to consider in choosing the format are:
- How does the audience prefer to receive information – text, graphics, numbers, written, visual or a mixture of all of these?
- What is the preferred length (or duration if an audio/visual presentation)?
- What access does the audience have to information technology (this may inform whether you use web-based formats)?
- What is the purpose of the report and how does this inform the choice of format? Purposes may include:
- keeping stakeholders engaged during an evaluation
- providing feedback to and maintaining the commitment of people collecting data during implementation
- flagging emerging findings and implications for ongoing program development and for the evaluation
- presenting interim recommendations
- seeking feedback on draft reports to assist in identifying causal factors
- informing planning, funding or policy decisions
- broader dissemination of findings to support use
Traditionally, written reports have been the main form of media used for evaluation reports. However, we now know that the full technical report is not enough to meet the learning needs of our audiences. The presentation of your report should help your reader quickly and easily understand your key points.
Increasing report readability makes it more likely that readers will be able to learn from the report.
Reporting in the order of importance allows readers to easily access those things which they are most interested in. These are generally the findings and recommendations which, therefore, should appear early in the report. Less relevant details, such as the evaluation background and methodology, belong in an appendix or can even posted online for reference.
Presentation audiences are likely to be most interested in only a portion of the full evaluation report, such as the key findings or a lesson learned about evaluation methods. Thus, it is wise to focus the presentation on only that portion, while making the fuller report available to anyone interested.
Creative and/or interactive
Presenting your report in a creative or interactive manner may be the most relevant means to get your information across if the context allows for it. You may consider working with an artist, a graphic recorder or designer to produce creative or interactive displays.
Simple graphic design principles applied to your reporting documents will ensure readability and maximize learning. You can use design elements and visual depictions of your data to assist the reader.
'Develop reporting media' is referenced in:
- Communication for Development (C4D) :
- Manager's guide to evaluation :
- Rainbow Framework :