Evaluating the Progress of Your Project

Objectives

  • To assess how your project is progressing
  • To give you insight into the things that are going well in your research project
  • To help you identify places where special attention is needed
  • To help you prepare for reporting the results of your project

Materials

  • “Evaluating Progress” handout (1 per participant)
  • Pens or pencils
  • Flip chart paper/butcher paper
  • Markers

Prepare Before

N/A


Warm Up

Brainstorm with a partner: Why is it important to evaluate your own project?

Experience

Now we’re going to introduce an evaluation tool that should be used throughout the project.

Using this Tool: Because using this tool involves not just you, but others who have knowledge of your project, you will need to determine several important things before you begin, including the following:

  • What should this tool be used for?
    • This tool can be used at several points in the project to assess how your project is going. Using the tool will help you determine the things that are going well and also identify areas that might need more work. At the end of the project this tool can be used as a final assessment of how successful the project was.
  • Who could complete this tool for you?
    • Who are the people that know about your project well enough to give you good feedback? Do some know a great deal about the project, while others only know a little bit? Are there adults, other youth, or community members who can give you feedback? You can also use this tool just with your team as a self-assessment to chart your progress together.
  • When should you use this tool?
    • At what point in your project do you want to check on your progress? You might want to use the tool at two or three different points in the project. For example, you could use the tool after you have identified the issue for your action project, again once your action project is underway, and one last time at the end of your project.
  • How should you use this tool?
    • There are many different ways to use this tool. You might ask people in person to fill it out; you might even mail the tool to some people with a letter explaining what the tool is for; or you could even have a meeting and invite people to provide feedback at the meeting. There are lots of ways to collect the information, and it is important to choose the method that works best for your project. Since you may use this tool at any point during your project, it is okay just to use the sections of the tools that are relevant to how far your project has progressed so far.
  • How is your project going?
    • Listed on the questionnaire are a series of steps you might be taking as your project unfolds. After you identify the people who know your project well, have them complete this form.

Pass out the questionnaire and ask the participants to look it over.

Reflect

Facilitate a discussion with the following reflection questions:

  • What are some important things to keep in mind when evaluating the progress of your project?
  • What were some factors you did not consider about your project before evaluation?
  • What were some other purposes of this evaluation?

Demonstrate

Write one interesting way the tool you think the tool will help you in your project.