Once you have created and agreed upon your outcome maps and you have defined your pathways, the next step in your outcome evaluation journey is to think about how success will be assessed. Many organisations find it helpful to define clear success criteria before beginning to collate sources of evidence and match these against the success criteria. This article provides guidance on creating robust success criteria.
Success criteria should include a description of what we want to know is happening, how we will know this is happening, what analysis will be needed and the level of ambition. Below is an example of a success criterion where the aim is to engage practitioners with the programme:
Success criteria should also be tied to the project's risk and assumptions, ensuring that they are also reflected upon when assessing success. For example, the above success criterion could be tied to a risk of non-engagement.
Below are further guidelines for ensuring your success criteria are robust:
- Clearly state what you want to find out
- Show how you will know (number/description/self-report etc)
- Refer to your analysis process
- Reflect the ambition of your activity
- Pull on key risks and assumptions
- Make it easily collectable (you already have the source or can easily create it)
Tip: To have a 'good enough' assessment, focus first on having one or more success criteria for each stepping stone that will give you confidence in your data. Make sure the criteria is appropriate to the ambitions and environment of your activities.
For more information on evidence standards, click here.
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