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How to use and learn from your mentoring or befriending project evaluation

This guide will help you make the most of an evaluation of your mentoring or befriending project. It will highlight the different ways you can use your evaluation and, most importantly, how you can learn from it.

Things you'll need

  • project evaluation
1

Learn from your evaluation

One of the most important things you can you do when evaluating your mentoring or befriending project is to learn from the findings and act on them. Your evaluation might highlight that an aspect of your project isn’t working as well as you thought or isn’t making the difference you hoped for. What could you do differently to improve your project?

You will need to share your learning with other staff, volunteers, mentors and befrienders - do they have ideas about how changes could be made? How could they use the learning to plan and improve their work?

You will, of course, need to be sensitive to the hard work mentors, befrienders and staff commit to your project when highlighting areas for improvement.

If you are going to make changes make sure you communicate this internally, including with your mentors and befrienders, and explain why they are happening. 

2

Use your findings externally

Make the most of your evaluation findings and share them with others outside your organisation. This can be useful for:

  • providing evidence to existing funders
  • attracting new funding
  • recruiting new mentors and befrienders
  • raising the profile of your project with other organisations and the wider public
  • demonstrating to current or prospective service users how the project can help them
  • sharing learning with other mentoring and befriending projects
  • lobbying for change amongst policy makers
  • collaborating with other projects or organisations on monitoring and evaluation.
3

Review what you did

It is always a good idea to reflect on how you are monitoring and evaluating your project and how you could improve it. Ask yourself these questions.

  • Are we focusing on the right outcomes and indicators?
  • Are we involving the people we need to?
  • Did we gather sufficient evidence for our outcomes? If not, what do we need to do next time?
  • Did the methods and tools work well and meet our needs?
  • How well did we communicate the findings? How could we improve this next time?
  • How did we learn from the findings and act on them?

If you would like to review and improve the way you plan, evidence, communicate and learn from your evaluation, Measuring Up! is a simple assessment tool which can help you. 

Further information

This guide is the fifth and final part in our series of ‘how to guides’ which will help you monitor and evaluate your mentoring or befriending project. The other guides cover:

Contributors

Page last edited Nov 02, 2016 History

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