Most organisations funded by Nominet Trust will use some form of survey or questionnaire in the process of evaluating their projects. The advantage to this approach is that it makes it possible to capture beneficiaries’ perceptions and subjective experiences, in addition to their observed external behaviours. This is an important aspect of the evaluation process as many of the changes that Nominet Trust projects are seeking to effect (e.g. increased confidence, greater awareness, reduced social isolation, etc.) can be difficult to measure purely by external observation. more >
Possibly...well I hope not, but there are some exciting possibilities being offered by digital technology to help researchers identify patterns and valuable insights in their evaluation data that might otherwise go undiscovered.
People argue a lot about evaluation and ‘social impact analysis’ (see, they even argue about what it should be called). They especially love to argue about the ‘best’ way to do it. Like whether you should or shouldn’t have an external evaluator, or whether you should or shouldn’t do a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT). Frankly, it can get a bit confusing – so how do you know the best way to ‘do’ an evaluation? Especially if you're working in social innovation. The answer is that there is no ‘best’ way. more >
Most people involved in social investment want to know if their efforts are making a positive difference, but seeking to demonstrate attribution (linking changes observed to a specific intervention) can be far from straightforward, and might even be the wrong question to ask.