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Welcome to Getting Better All The Time! a self help guide to evaluation. This manual has been written for senior staff and managers who have responsibility for leading others through the evaluation process. It will be of interest to people involved in small or large scale evaluation of services, programmes or projects. It is intended both as a ‘read alone’ manual and as a group training text. We have been selective in our content. Too much information distracts from the main task and too little leaves you with too many unanswered questions. We have tried to strike a middle course, in the assumption that your interest in evaluation will lead you on to read other, more detailed books.
You might be wondering about the title of the book, Getting Better All the Time! We have chosen this title for two reasons. The first is that the more you get involved in evaluations, the better you become at being part of one. We all know that practice makes perfect – as long as it’s the right kind of practice! But the second reason for choosing the title is even more important than the first. Evaluations are done for one main reason – to improve the quality of whatever is being evaluated - the service, the programme or the project. You will find that we continually come back to this point throughout the book. An evaluation is only worth doing if it makes a difference to the lives of the people using the service or involved in the project or programme.
Unit 1:Understanding evaluation 5
Unit 2:Getting started with evaluation 33
Unit 3: Developing an evaluation plan 45
Unit 4: Gathering and managing information 57
Unit 5: The written report 73
Unit 6: Moving forward 81