The Evaluate stage is not the final phase of (or add-on to) a policy, plan, project or programme (PPPP). It is an integral process that should be embedded in all stages. Use the indicators identified in the Ideas phase and the baseline data noted in the Survey phase to provide reference points for monitoring. Share responsibility for monitoring progress and address any emerging issues before they become problems. Evaluation should not be confined to targets and should incorporate qualitative and quantitative results including views of those involved or affected by the PPPP.

Key questions and tools

  • Are you delivering what you set out to achieve?
  • Review initial documentation.
  • Are you meeting the needs of your key stakeholders?
  • Consider Public Engagement and Futures tools.
  • Are you evaluating the right things?
  • Review the indicators used.
  • What are the key lessons that you have learned during this stage?
  • Keep a record of these for ongoing evaluation.

Prompts for discussion

  • Have the key aims and objectives of the policy, plan, project or programme (PPPP) been met?
  • How can the PPPP process and outcomes be improved?
  • Is the evaluation capturing the right things?
  • Are the right indicators being used that capture quality and performance for your PPPP?
  • Are we capturing the views of those people most directly affected by the PPPP?
  • What are the key lessons emerging from the Ideas, Survey, Assess, Plan, Deliver and Evaluate phases thus far? Use the suite of indicators developed in the Ideas phase to help.

Case Studies

All of the case studies include a ‘Lessons Learnt’ section. The most important lessons are the need to:

  • Involve stakeholders from the start of any PPPP and continue engagement over the whole process.
  • Be pragmatic rather than idealistic when working with ecosystem services: try and build ecosystem services into the evidence base.
  • Join up thinking and action between those people managing the process and those charged with delivery. These are not always as joined up as they need to be.
  • Avoid the tick-box syndrome in evaluation.