Evaluating your training session

Did it work? Four steps to evaluate your training sessions

Many of you offer training sessions to various groups in order to move the needle and make communities better. These training sessions are as varied as your areas of expertise, covering topics like financial literacy, self-defense, managing chronic disease, cultivating healthy relationships, and so much more. You put time and effort into the training session, and you truly do want it to make a difference in people’s lives. So how do you evaluate your training sessions to find out if you made a difference?

I took an entire course in graduate school on training—how to design a good training, how to implement it, and how to evaluate it. Fortunately for you, I won’t spend an entire semester on the topic, but I will hopefully convey the important parts!

Evaluation belongs everywhere

Why evaluation belongs everywhere

Evaluation is our bread-and-butter here at HARC (check out my previous posts here and here). Unfortunately, a common myth about evaluation is that it happens at the end of a project or program. While this is true, a more accurate statement is that evaluation has its place in all stages of a program cycle, from planning to implementation to summation and back to planning for the next round.

Babushka, the original HARC canine, helps illustrate how evaluation can take impact statements from drab to fab!

How to go from drab to fab with evaluation

Last week I talked about how awesome program evaluation is, and how it helps you to quantify just how much your work changes lives. This week I want to go into more detail about that.

Many of you out there have big, beautiful goals for your programs—increase access to healthcare for low-income families, protect endangered species, advocate for human rights, provide high-quality education to all, etc. You sink time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears into that goal. You WANT to make a difference, and to make the world a better place. Evaluation can help you prove that you did that, and make your impact statements something that will really blow people away (in a good way).

Word cloud about evaluation

Why evaluation is awesome

This blog is all about using data to change lives, improve communities, and make magic happen. And program evaluation, one of our major efforts here at HARC, is a big part of that. I love program evaluation, and you should, too. Here’s why:

What is Evaluation?

Program evaluation is a method of systematically collecting and analyzing information to better understand a program. That’s a fancy way of saying that evaluation is a study to see if you’re accomplishing what you hoped you’d accomplish. Basically, are your activities (programs, projects, policies, anything you’re doing) leading to the change you hoped you’d see?