Without performing a project evaluation, it is not possible to determine with certainty whether the project has been successful or not. Stakeholders who have invested their time and effort will want to know what changes have been made to the health and well-being of the target population as a result of the project. This could determine whether future investment will be provided for project; for its continued implementation or potential upscale. It is important to identify which aspects of the project were particularly successful, retaining these on continued project implementation/upscale. Likewise, the unsuccessful aspects of the project should be investigated, with modifications made to reduce the possibility of future project failure. All lessons learnt throughout the project should be identified and documented to guide future work. The project should be evaluated against original goals and objectives identified in planning stages. When sharing the results of the evaluation, define the target audience and determine what information they will want to know. Make sure your evaluation findings are useful, relevant and easy to understand.
A project evaluation involves data collection and analysis. Different types of data may be useful which are collected using a variety of methods, some of which can be found in Primary data collection. Specialised staff may be required to perform the evaluation. Ideally, evaluators should be from an external party with no personal or financial investment into the project to prevent the results of the evaluation from being biased. Data collected for the evaluation should explicit to prevent its misinterpretation. A mix of quantitative and qualitative methods is often useful for capturing different aspects of program outcomes.
Implement and monitor the plan