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Reporting your findings

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Once you have analysed your data you can set out clear evaluation findings and recommendations in an impact report.

You can use your findings to engage with audiences outside your organisation, report to funders and attract further funding, and improve your work.

Understanding the audience for your report

Reports are most likely to be read and acted on when they are tailored to the needs of the people who will be reading and using them. Be clear about who your evaluation audiences are – for example, you might be reporting to trustees, managerial or frontline staff, volunteers, beneficiaries, funders, donors, other organisations in your field, the media, politicians or the general public.

Think about what they will want to know so you can make your report content of interest. Consider also when they need the evaluation findings – getting the timing of your evaluation reporting right can increase the chances of your findings being used.

Choosing a report format

There are a range of different reporting formats available – from comprehensive written reports, to dashboards, podcasts or simply sharing findings in meetings. Choose the format that will allow you to communicate effectively with the people who you want to engage with your evaluation. You may want to use different formats for different audiences – many reports are presented in more than one way.

Producing a written report

Written reports have traditionally been used for evaluation, and are still used widely today. Produced by independent evaluators or by organisations themselves, they set out evaluation findings and the data they are based on. They are useful for audiences who need more detail about what an evaluation has found. Many funders require written reports as a condition of grant or contract provision.

Read about how to write an evaluation report.

Creative reporting formats

Creative reporting includes visual, spoken and shorter written report formats. These types of report are sometimes produced alongside written reports and sometimes used separately. They can be particularly helpful if your audience needs smaller amounts of ‘headline’ information rather than a detailed exploration of findings.

Read about how to use creative reporting formats.

 

Page last edited Jul 31, 2017

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