Getting started with evaluation

Evaluating your AOD community activities lets you assess your project's effectiveness, describe your successes to others, identify the areas to improve next time and plan the next stage of development.

Benefits of evaluation

A strong evaluation offers the following benefits:

  • checking how your activities have gone against goals you set at the start
  • assessing the effectiveness of your activities
  • describing the impact of your activities to a wider audience, including current and potential funders
  • identifying areas where you need to improve next time
  • identifying your successes and how you can replicate them
  • staying motivated to build on what you have achieved

Your evaluation plan should be written at the same time as your delivery plan. This is because the goal of your activity should be measurable. By planning your evaluation early, you can make sure that your activities are designed to make it easy for you to collect the data needed to demonstrate your activity outcomes.


The first step of your evaluation planning should be to identify the overall aims and objectives of your activity. Being clear about what you want to do and the outcomes you want to achieve will support you to deliver your activity safely and effectively, as well as track success.

One way of doing this is to use the 5Ws approach:

  • What do you want to happen? (your activity)
  • Who will it happen with? (the group you will collect data from)
  • Why will it happen? (the outcome you hope to achieve for the issue you identified - e.g. to decrease risky drinking behaviour by increasing knowledge about drinking harms)
  • When will it occur? (time frame - e.g. over 6 months)
  • Where will it occur? (location - e.g. local community centre)
Plan and Act

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