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What is evaluation?

Evaluation is a systematic process to judge quality, combining evidence and values. Good evaluation helps us make better decisions for better outcomes. There are different types of evaluation, which can be conducted throughout a program or policy cycle: before implementation, during implementation, or after implementation. Evaluation can also include the on-going monitoring of interventions. Evaluation can be conducted by a variety of different groups such as: external evaluators, internal staff, communities or a hybrid team.
The main types of evaluation are process, impact, outcome and summative. The type of evaluation you opt for will often depend on the stage of your intervention and the purpose of the evaluation:

What it measures
Key questions

Which aspects of the intervention work well or not and why?
Whether the interventions been implemented as intended.

Has the intervention reached the target group?
Are all project activities reaching all parts of the target group?
Are participants and other key stakeholders satisfied with all aspects of the project?
Are all activities being implemented as intended? If not, why?
What, if any changes, have been made to intended activities?
Are all materials, information and presentations suitable for the target audience?


Helps to inform decisions about whether to start, continue, expand or stop an intervention.

Do you continue the intervention? If so, do you continue it in its entirety?
Is it possible to implement the intervention in other settings?
How sustainable is the intervention?
What elements could have helped or hindered the intervention?
What recommendations have evolved out of the intervention?


Measures the immediate effect of the intervention against its objectives.

Has the project achieved its objectives?
Have the desired short-term changes been achieved?


Assessing the long-term effects of the intervention and measuring progress against the overall goal(s) and aim(s) of the intervention.

Has the overall intervention aim been achieved?
What, if any factors outside the intervention have contributed or hindered the desired change?
What, if any unintended change has occurred as a result of the program?

It is important to understand that people may define these types of evaluation in different ways and give them different labels.

Evaluation guides

Below is a selection of links to guidelines on evaluation. If you know of any other guidelines you think should be included here, email us the details through the contact us page.

Book of evaluation tools thumbnail

Little book of evaluation tools.

Evaluation approach thumbnail

Choosing an evaluation approach to achieve better attribution.

Behaviour change technique thumbnail

Using behaviour change techniques: guidance for the road safety community.

Evidence road safety interventions thumbnail

Designing Evidence Based Road Safety Interventions. A step-by-step guide for practitioners of how to design an evidence-based road safety intervention.

Magenta Book thumbnail

The Magenta Book is HM Treasury guidance on evaluation for Central Government, but is also useful for policy makers in local government, charities and the voluntary sectors. 

What are you evaluating?

When planning an evaluation, you will need to be realistic about the scope. Challenges can include resources, time, cost and resistance to change. However, the opportunities to properly evaluate will give you a better understanding of an intervention and could also help you build better relationships with stakeholders.
If you want to evaluate an existing intervention, decide which intervention you will need to evaluate first. Think about if you want to evaluate the whole intervention or just a component of it. An evaluation of a component will look to see if the outcomes of the component have been met and clarify the extent to which the component contributes to the overall intervention.

Although it is best practice to think about your evaluation during the planning stages of an intervention, it is still possible to evaluate a project during, or even after its delivery.
If you do want to evaluate an intervention that is already up and running, go back and check your planning; that is, your goals, aims, objectives and logic model and review the evidence base of your work. This will help you to remind yourself of what the project aimed to achieve and to make any necessary changes.


The principle of E-valu-it is simple. You are asked a series of questions about your intervention, the issue(s) it aims to address, its aims and objectives and a few other details. E-valu-it will then generate a partly completed report template to help you to write your evaluation report.
You don’t have to complete the questions on all at once and can save your progress as you go through. You can return to this later, to fill in further details and submit it once you’re ready. Once an evaluation report has been completed, you will have the option of publishing it on the website to share your experiences and findings with colleagues in the UK, and around the world.

Need help?

If you would like additional support using the website, toolkit or evaluation advice, you can contact us at [email protected] 


What next?

Evaluation hub

Go back to RoSPA’s evaluation hub where you can find exactly what you are looking for.






Click here to find out about the first step in the evaluation process

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