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Why evaluate?

Increasingly organisations need to be able to demonstrate the difference that their work has made in return for the resources that have been committed.

This is generally referred to as evaluation and by its nature takes stock of what has already happened.






Value Chains

Evaluation examines what is referred to as a value chain:

Inputs (money, materials, manpower) >

Activities (situation change) >

Outputs (what was delivered) >

Outcomes (value to direct beneficiaries)>

Impacts (value to indirect beneficiaries).

Outputs from evaluation

Typically the principal output will be reports which can cover one or more elements of the evaluation.

Arguably the most valuable output is the “Lessons Learned” report which summarises the key issues and makes recommendations for improving future projects.




How the inputs were used to achieve the desired result

Numbers achieved

against expectation

What difference did it make

to the direct beneficiaries?

What was the value to

indirect beneficiaries?

Scope of evaluations

An evaluation can look at whole value chain or just part of it.

While evaluations often look at completed activities interim evaluations can be a valuable project management tool.

However our number one recommendation for any client considering an evaluation is to hold a lessons learned workshop which we would be happy to facilitate.

Inputs, activities and outputs

Inputs, activities and outputs are "hard" measures - things that you can in principle hold in your hand and count - and are usually assessed using project records and can be reported in terms of percentage completion.

Sapience Consulting can undertake in-depth or light touch reviews of how well a project or programme has delivered against it’s expectations.


Outcomes are evaluated using softer techniques such as interviews and focus groups to provide a rich variety of outputs.

Sapience Consulting offers a range of interview and group approaches to gather data and Grounded Theory Analysis to identify key issues.


Where a project or activity is one of many influences on a situation its impact can be hard to assess. In these situations Sapience Consulting offers Plausible Link and Social Return on Investment  (SROI) techniques to provide a quantified assessment of added value.