Selecting tools to measure success

Tools to measure success can collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data are pieces of information that are expressed numerically. Qualitative data are pieces of information in the form of words or themes.

In your Community Action Plan you are required to identify the tools that you will use to collect data and measure success. It is likely that you will use several data collection tools. Our suite of toolkits can help with further guidance.

Common tools to measure success include:

  • Feedback sheets or questionnaires (both pre- and post-, or just post-)
  • Focus groups
  • Interviews
  • Surveys
  • Document analysis (e.g. project team meeting minutes, progress reports)
  • Practice reflection
  • Journaling
  • Narrative
  • Participant observation
  • Partnerships analysis.

Tools for measuring success

The table below provides some examples of tools for measuring the success of community action to prevent alcohol and drug-related harms.

Community action Tools for measuring processes Tools for measuring impacts/outcomes
Education sessions • Training calendar
• Attendance registers
• Feedback sheets or questionnaires
• Focus groups to pre-test resources
• Feedback sheets or questionnaires (both pre- and post-, or just post-)
• Surveys
Partnership work • Partnerships register
• Meeting minutes
• Diary entries
• Project document analysis
• Practice reflection
• Evidence of how policies and procedures related to preventing alcohol and other drug-related harm are developed and implemented
• Partnerships analysis
Awareness raising • Activity tracking data
• Website views
• Product catalogue
• Feedback sheets or questionnaires
• Calls to an advertised service
• Focus groups
• Surveys

Evaluation partners

You may want to engage the support of a researcher or an external evaluator if you feel this would be beneficial. People with specialist expertise in evaluation can provide advice and guidance on approaches to measuring your success. Usually you would need to engage this support before you commence delivery of your

Community Action Plan activity so they can guide you on how and when to collect data. The Community Action Plan funding from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation can be used to undertake evaluation if your group decides they would like to have an external evaluation.