Monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation is simply the process of collecting information about how your activities or services are used, and using that information to help you understand what is going well and what could be improved.
Monitoring and evaluation is useful for helping you to run your group effectively. It is also helpful for providing information to funders.
Using questionnaires and surveys to find out what people think
Information to help your community group think about what you are aiming to achieve, how to find out if you are succeeding, and how to demonstrate to the outside world that what you are doing is useful.
When you receive a small grant, the organisation that gives you the grant will usually ask you to send them some information at the end of the project. Some funders provide a form for you to fill in. Others just ask you to write a short report and send it to them. This information sheet is mainly focused on writing an evaluation report from scratch, but you may also find it useful when thinking about how to fill in an evaluation form.
The services listed below are not provided by the Resource Centre. These are websites and services we feel are particularly useful for small groups in Brighton & Hove, and which are not easy to find by searching the internet.
Most useful services for local groups
Provide detailed guidance about community research, including designing and using questionnaires. You have to register with them to access the information, but this is free.
Brighton University's Community Development Partnership Programme builds partnerships between the university and local community organisations. They offer help to local groups with things like conducting research and project development.
They have worked with Brighton & Hove Community Works to develop a Monitoring Evaluation and Impact Partnership, which has delivered training and support for local groups on how to measure the impact of their work effectively without creating an unsustainable data burden. The MEI partnership website includes useful resources from the training sessions.