Approaches to evaluation

Members of our learning community have returned many times to the question of measuring and evaluating the work that they are doing. They want to make sure that their projects are meeting their intended aims of enabling people to build and make use of their social capital. And people are being asked more and more to justify their investments in the current financial climate.

Evaluation Cost-Effectiveness of Volunteers

The Volunteer Investment and Value Audit (VIVA) is a tool to help calculate the economic value of volunteers' time

VIVA - The volunteer investment and value audit: A self-help guide

Volunteering England: Calculating economic value

Does it Work? A guide to evaluating community capacity initiatives

This guide has been developed by Catherine Wilton et al for the Building Community Capacity project to help you evaluate your project/service and the impact it might be having on social capital. It guides you through the things you need to consider before you start, then suggests and describes some appropriate methods depending on why you want to do the evaluation and who it is for. Download the guide here

Building Community Capacity: Reporting the Results

Professor Rob Paton of the Open University Business School has written an article on approaches to evaluation for the Building Community Capacity project and suggests four ways that you might generate useful information and insight: using routine management information, advanced IT systems, surveys and group work. Read Professor Paton's paper.

Economic Evaluation in the Social Welfare Field

Economic evaluation has an important role to play in helping to make decisions about the use of scarce resources, however, economic evaluation is under-developed in many areas of social welfare. This paper looks at the reasons for this, focusing on what economists could do to redress the situation. Standard approaches to economic evaluation may not always be appropriate, because of the nature of many social welfare interventions and because evaluators need to be able to address a broader set of evaluation questions. This paper suggests that in many areas of social welfare, economists should be less ambitious in terms of what they set out to achieve in terms of economic evaluation, but more ambitious with the range of evaluation techniques they are prepared to use.