What is evaluation and why is it important?

Evaluation involves collecting and using data to answer questions about the quality, value and direction of your work, and how to manage and improve what you do.

It’s the process of answering questions like:

  • What difference did this project/service make, to whom and why?
  • What worked well, for whom, in what circumstances, at what time and why?
  • Did anything unexpected happen?
  • If you ran this project again, what would you do differently?
  • Is the project/service on track to meet desired outcomes?
  • Is the project/service demonstrating value for money?

Going through the evaluation process lets you see where improvements can be made by looking at what works, what doesn’t, and making changes accordingly. It is all about continuous assessment and improvement.

Evaluation gives you evidence to prove the difference your services make and help you tell your story. This in turn will help you build and strengthen relationships with funders as well as influencing the development of evidence-based practice.

It can also help you to demonstrate:

  • Your commitment to the 5 principles of trauma-informed practice: safety, trust, choice, empowerment and collaboration.
  • That you offer a high-quality service and are committed to ensuring safety, managing risk and removing barriers to accessing support.
  • Your commitment to learning and sharing best practice in the support and recovery of survivors.


Section 4 Introduction


How to get started with evaluating your service for survivors