The Life Changes Trust recognises that there is no single method that will allow you to capture all the data you will need. We understand that methods involving beneficiaries may need to be creative or specialized due to their particular preferences and needs. Consulting with beneficiaries on how they want to be involved in evaluation activity is strongly encouraged and often essential.
You must think about the tools or methods you will use to collect information at an early stage.
To achieve different types of outcomes your project will make use of different approaches. Likewise, there are lots of different ways to capture information and support people to express their views. People tend to respond to different approaches at different times in different ways. It is therefore important to carefully select the right methods for your activity and the different stakeholder groups you will be collecting information from.
This guide covers a selection of methods and tools that you might want to consider and try out, or you can use the information provided to come up with your own imaginative way of gathering feedback.
You can also download the Methods section as a PDF file below.
In this section:
- Surveys and Questionnaires
- Focus Groups
- Document Analysis
- Case Studies
- Contribution Analysis
- Experimental Designs
- Participatory Approaches
- Diaries and Blogs
- Story-based Methods
- Design-led Approaches
Further techniques to support evaluation can be found from a number of useful sources:
- Evaluation Support Scotland provides to series of helpful guides and briefings on tried and tested evaluation tools.
- Charities Evaluation Services has produced a fuller guide to Assessing Change: Developing and using outcomes monitoring tools. It has also produced a Resource Guide: Evaluating outcomes and impact, which collates an array of online and published guides, tools, discussion papers and factsheets on all aspects of evaluation.
- The Inspiring Impact Hub has curated a collection of tools and techniques.
- IRISS provide access to a range of resources on their website.
- Better Evaluation provide a short guide on how to Collect and/or Retrieve Data.
- The Scottish Government has released guidance on a variety of methods and approaches.
Each individual section can be downloaded as a PDF from the relevant page.
If you have any queries, comments or suggestions, you can contact us in a number of ways:
T: 0141 212 9601
Glossary of Terms
We know that the terminology surrounding evaluation can often become confusing or off-putting. However, there are a few basic terms and concepts that it is important to be familiar with. Download the glossary here.
You can download our full Funding Evaluation Toolkit as a PDF document for printing. It contains a full set of references and sources. Download the toolkit PDF here.