Observation as an Evaluation Technique

This web page from Evaluation Trust gives a clear overview of observation as an evaluation tool and includes tips on how it can be used effectively.


  • "When is observation a particularly appropriate tool? The principal difficulties in using observation in evaluation come in the very careful negotiations that need to take place beforehand about the role of the observer, and the large amount of data which it produces.
  • Different types of observation: There are different types of observation which focus both on:
  • how the observation is done: ie open / unfocussed observation structured observation
  • and how the observer behaves: being external to what is observed being a participant in what is observed
  • Your place on the participant observer continuum is likely to move and change all the time
  • How to undertake observation" (The Evaluation Trust )


The Evaluation Trust (n.d.). Observation as an evaluation technique. Retrieved from http://www.evaluationtrust.org/tools/observe