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Subject:

Re: Question for Evaluators

From:

Diane Warburton <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

psci-com: on public engagement with science

Date:

Mon, 11 Feb 2013 17:21:27 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (41 lines)

Hello Bruce, Ben and others

Have just joined this list as Evaluation Manager for Sciencewise. Sciencewise is very committed to evaluation generally, and supports the independent evaluation of all the public dialogue projects it co-funds. We have some general principles for project evaluation that might be useful in response to Bruce's original question: see document SWP07 on the Sciencewise website: www.sciencewise-erc.org.uk. These principles for project evaluation reflect some of Ben's concerns. For example, we encourage the evaluation to start as early as possible and to be undertaken throughout the design and delivery of the project. We are also increasingly extending the evaluation so it continues after the main project has finished, to be able to look a bit more at 'impacts' as well as 'process'. We have identified a series of six key questions that we'd always expect an evaluation to answer - such as whether those involved have been satisfied with the dialogue (and what value it has had for them), and what difference / impact the dialogue has made.

We usually have a bit of a focus on audit in evaluations (for example, the six key questions also include assessing whether the dialogue met its objectives and standards of good practice), alongside a strong focus on learning, so we also look for lessons from what worked well and less well. But even our audit elements are always focused on identifying lessons from the experience; not justification or blame. And, to also pick up on another of Ben's points, alongside clearly stating the aims and objectives for evaluating Sciencewise-funded projects, and the overarching principles, we also stress that "the ways in which any individual evaluation approaches these aims, objectives and questions, and meets the basic principles, is not circumscribed, and innovation and experimentation is encouraged". At least, that is what we aim for. And we are always trying to learn ourselves how to do, report and learn from evaluations more effectively too.

Diane

Diane Warburton
Sciencewise Evaluation Manager
 
Tel: 01273 774557 | Email: [log in to unmask]  |  Web: www.sciencewise-erc.org.uk
  

**********************************************************************
[Note from the moderator - I'm trying to simplify this information and correct some bits, please bear with me - Jo]

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