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Coalition Building: Evaluating Your Progress: Part 1

Do you get overwhelmed by evaluation? Do you get excited by it? In my experience, most folks are either really excited and energized by evaluation and others are overwhelmed by it and want to outsource it as much as possible. 🙂 When I first started working on evaluation, I found it completely overwhelming. I remember working with our “evaluator” who kept asking more questions and never seemed to be able to finish with any of them. After working on evaluation for more than 15 years, I’ve discovered that it doesn’t have to be so difficult! Also, it can be fun! 

Join me this week as I provide 3 ways you can simply, efficiently and effectively begin to evaluate your progress as a coalition.

  1. Review your action items.  Take time to review what you have done (or haven’t done) and make notes about what worked, what didn’t work and what you would like to do in the future based on what you learned.
  2. Review your priority areas. Are you continuing to work on these areas? Are these still the areas that you and your coalition agree should be priorities? Do you still have resources (including staff time) to support these priority areas? This also involves reflection as well as a discussion at a coalition meeting (once/year or once every other year). You may also want to conduct a brief electronic survey once a year to check on the perspective of your coalition related to these.
  3. Review existing data sources. Your priority areas are likely linked to existing data sources. Take time to review these data sources and determine whether you are making the kind of progress you expected (or not) related to the priority areas. Find ways to use this data to communicate to your coalition. This may be in the form of infographics, one-page “snapshots” or something similar. 

No matter what you decide to do to evaluate your progress, one of the most important things you can do is to share these evaluation results with your coalition and to use what you learned to continually improve! Next week we will continue with more ideas on evaluating your progress without overwhelming you and your team.

So what about you? What have you done to evaluate your coalition’s progress in a simple, efficient and effective way?

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