Data needs of evaluation

Online Foresight Guide

The most straightforward way of evaluating outcomes is to ask the people involved in the activity to report on them systematically. This systematic approach has to be open enough to allow for unexpected benefits to be captured, and will need to be employed at several periods (if not continually), so as to capture immediate and longer-term benefits, and changing appraisals of how important these have proved to be. Furthermore, benefits may be experienced at different levels – in terms of the effectiveness and careers of individuals, the organisational capabilities of participating agencies and firms, improvements in communication networks and social interaction more generally. Thus survey questions need to be framed so as to capture different types of benefits.

Examples of the sorts of data on potential benefits that might be generated include: