It is not possible to talk about evaluation without referring to intervention planning. Unless you are clear about what you are intending to achieve by delivering the intervention, for whom, by how much, and by when, it will not be possible to know if you have been successful. In an ideal world, the:
- Issue(s) to be addressed by an intervention would be identified from data and evidence that the issue needs to be addressed (a needs assessment, otherwise known as an ex-ante evaluation)
- Intervention chosen to address the issue(s) would be based on evidence that it is likely to be successful by meeting its aims and objectives, which themselves would be clear and set right at the start of planning the intervention
- Evaluation of the intervention would also be planned and built into the intervention from the outset.
Of course, this does not always happen, particularly as many interventions are well established and have been delivered for many years. However, it is still important to ensure that clear aims and objectives are set, so that the intervention can be evaluated, and that the evaluation is designed into the intervention plan.
Therefore, many of the questions in the E-valu-it Toolkit ask you to identify the steps you have taken to plan your ETP intervention. These questions have been asked so that you record and reflect on what you are trying to achieve and plan appropriate ways of measuring your success.