Evaluation is a complicated name for a simple goal: how to prevent yourself from making the same mistake over again. By evaluation of the project you will facilitate your work and work of other people in the future and you will help your organization to develop new strategies and methods.
Evaluation should include different people and you should seriously consider their opinions. In more details:
- Participants – The last day of the youth exchange must contain a part dedicated to evaluation of the entire event. Give everyone a chance to express their impressions in front of the group, but also always prepare online or printed evaluation forms that provide anonymity. Ask the group about conditions of work and accommodation, find out if you are a good organizer, check once more if they were satisfied with the content of the training and the teaching method, ask them to make suggestions that you can use to improve your future projects. Remember also to talk regularly to your participants about their impressions regarding the applied methods of work, if they are satisfied with the content or if maybe they have some suggestions for improvement – dedicate about fifteen minutes of time at the end of each day to evaluation, in plenum or in smaller groups.
No idea how an evaluation form should look like? Check out the template used from Erasmus+ for the project “Youth Exchange and Mobility of Youth Workers”: https://www.jotform.com/form-templates/erasmus-evaluation-questionnaire-youth-exchange-and-mobility-of-youth-workers However, this is only a starting point for your evaluation form and all the rest…is up to you!
- Team members – Talking with your team about the project implementation can help you see some practices that you should change in your work. You should consult with your organization – check if your colleagues are satisfied with your way of leading the project.
- Outsiders – Try to get opinions from some stakeholders that have not participated in the project directly but are familiar with its implementation because the view “from the outside” is much more objective.
- Observe others – Compare with the results of similar projects. Are there some elements that can be compared to your action? Why were other projects more or less successful than yours?
- Compare your results and goals – Compare your goal indicator values for tasks and activities with these that you have achieved and think about what you could/should do differently? For example, if you received less applications for the youth exchange than anticipated and you did not have time to extend the application deadline, is it possible that you had used the wrong communication channels in order to reach your target group? Or maybe the invitation was not comprehensive enough or confusing?
Stay positive! Many people think about the evaluation process as of listing all the mistakes and omissions. However, sincerity also implies pointing out of good things and success. Try not to focus on the elements that you have no impact on, but analyse the elements that you can change instead.