Reporting and Dissemination
Reporting and disseminating the evaluation results of a program is of key importance. You might use different channels and media to present the evaluation findings to reach different audiences.
Transparency adds credibility. It is important to include in your reporting where you have succeeded and where you may have failed. Sharing your results and experience will allow others to replicate your successes and avoid your failures. Reporting the changes achieved by a particular program or intervention also adds to the evidence base supporting the effectiveness of particular educational approaches.
How results of an evaluation are reported depends on the purpose of the report and its intended audience.
- Is it to be used as a basis for repeating and implementing the intervention elsewhere?
- Is it to justify funding?
- Or is it intended to demonstrate that an intervention has worked (or has not worked)?
Whatever the purpose of the reporting, any comprehensive evaluation report must be clear, accurate, and easily accessible to the end-user. Reports need not be academic papers published in scientific journals. They can be final reports for internal use, but all should include the following:
- An executive summary presenting the main findings of the evaluation;
- A clear description of the program being evaluated;
- A statement of purpose of the evaluation and what was being measured (e.g., awareness behavior change);
- A clear explanation of the methodology used, including data collection methods and response rates;
- Findings, usually linked to particular program objectives against which performance is assessed (attention should be paid here to association, causation, and possible confounders);
- Conclusions, lessons learned, unexpected outcomes, challenges and how these were addressed, and recommendations;
- Annexes, including any background information on the program or evaluation that may be of interest (the terms of reference, lists of types of people interviewed, documents reviewed).
How your program results are disseminated will also help inform the presentation of the results.
- It is important to decide on the number and type of outputs expected from the evaluation (report, summary, brochures).
- More than one format may be required, depending on the intended report recipients and key stakeholders. For example, a comprehensive report may be required for program funders, while a short brochure may be sufficient to raise awareness of the activities among program target beneficiaries or others.
The most important thing about reporting evaluation results is that they be transparent and comprehensive.
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Possible Reporting Formats:
Sharing findings at meetings with reference groups of stakeholders Distributing evaluation results (final report, brochures) through conference presentations and information sharing at events Highlighting key findings in newsletters or other publications, whether in print or online Publishing results in scientific journal articles Posting evaluation results and reports on relevant websites Using social networking sites for updates and dissemination of information and results