Learn from us: Evaluation Workshops presented by Effective Measures

Through the Effective Measures project, the Social Planning Council offers workshops in evaluation and data use; the cost is on a sliding scale. Most of these workshops are 2 hours long. They can be customized to respond to the evaluation needs of your organization.

Please contact April Carrière at aprilc@spcottawa.on.ca to obtain more information about workshops. 



Evaluation for everyone

This is an introduction to program evaluation – why do it, who it is for, steps in an evaluation, and integrating evaluation with other processes in your organization. Everyone uses some kind of evaluative thinking in their work; we will build on that.       


How to evaluate anything, starting with chocolate chip cookies 

This fun workshop uses an everyday-type experience, evaluating chocolate chip cookies, to learn about using evaluative criteria, standards and judgment. It is a good introduction to evaluation.


Results chains and logic models: Connecting what you do with the change you want to see

This workshop will help you articulate the logic of how your activities lead to the changes you want to achieve. We will look at both logic models and theories of change, and how to choose which approach is best in a particular situation.


Introduction to using data

The systematic collection of information is a major element of evaluation. This workshop provides an overview of different types of quantitative and qualitative data used in evaluation, and how to collect them. We will also look at some of the basics of survey design. 


Telling your story with data

Stories engage people, so they can be a powerful way of communicating. But they can be dismissed as “just a story”. This workshop will focus on using both quantitative (numbers and statistics) and qualitative data to create a strong and credible story as part of an evaluation.


Evaluation for program development and improvement

Evaluation is not just for funders! Evaluative inquiry can be used to inform decisions, improve programs, or develop new directions. Evaluation can help answer the questions “are we doing things right?” and “are we doing the right things?”


Evaluating volunteer programs

This workshop is about specifically evaluating a volunteer program, rather than the broader program or organization of which it is a part. Every organization that works with volunteers tracks basic information like the number of volunteer hours. This workshop will go more deeply into how to evaluate the contribution of volunteers. We will talk about how evaluation can support and improve a volunteer program.


Evaluating arts programs

This workshop is for people working in the arts or in arts education. Evaluating creative programs can be done creatively, while also incorporating conventional evaluation tools. The workshop will cover:

·         Why evaluate arts programs?

·         Articulating outcome goals – what would success look like?

·         What can be measured?  how to collect data?

·         Using evaluation findings, and developing a learning culture.


Developing an evaluation framework and indicators

An evaluation framework is the plan for an evaluation. This workshop will focus on creating an evaluation matrix, which is a summary table of the evaluation questions and the data which will be used to answer them. Indicators are data that tell you something about a program or its outcomes; we will look at how to choose relevant and feasible indicators to include in the evaluation matrix.


Results Based Accountability

Learn how to use Results Based Accountability to tell the story of your program or community initiative. This introductory workshop covers key RBA concepts, including: establishing a common language for evaluation; population and program level accountability; ‘Turning the Curve’ steps for programs; and identifying performance measures for programs.


Survey Design

Surveys are a very popular means of collecting information from clients and community members. They are able to capture both quantitative (numbers) and qualitative (stories) data. The focus of this workshop will be to help organizations and agencies develop a variety of surveys, keeping in mind the goal, the target population, timing, and mode.


Moving Beyond Surveys: other methods of collecting data

While surveys are popular, clients and communities can be overwhelmed and frustrated by the number of surveys they have to fill in to access surveys and programs. This workshop provides some viable alternatives, including administrative data, observation, interviews, focus groups, and the arts.


Methods of collecting data from Children and Youth

This workshop outlines various methods that can be used to collect data from children ages 2+. These include journals, surveys, focus groups, interviews, and artwork. This workshop also highlights some valuable resources including the HIGH FIVE framework and the Literacy Kit (available through the Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative).


Most Significant Change

This participatory monitoring and evaluation technique can help evaluators identify what change happened and what matters to participants and stakeholders. The process involves collecting stories from participants and having a group process the stories to learn what is important to people and why. This technique can complement any evaluation framework.


Mapping Literacy: Social Impact Mapping as a Community Evaluation Tool

Maps are an excellent visual that can help support any evaluation. They can be used in many different ways including: exploring community structure, organisations and processes; identifying different social groups using locally defined criteria; discussing social inequities; identifying location, access and use of key resources; and identifying which community members are most vulnerable (crime, victimization, mental health, etc.).


Ripple Effect Mapping:

Learn about Ripple Effect Mapping – a qualitative and participatory data collection method that can be used to show the different, and often unexpected, impacts of a program, project or intervention over a period of time.



Effective Measures is an initiative of the Social Planning Council of Ottawa

For information and resources, visit http://www.gems-spc.ca/