Report Writing

After going through the process of delivering your ETP intervention, and gathering the data to enable you to evaluate its effectiveness, a report will create a final record of what has been done. When writing your evaluation report, it is important to consider who your audience will be. This could include some or all of the following for a range of reasons:

  • Senior management and elected members. This can be to evidence the importance and relevance of what has been done in order to justify the money that has been spent, and to make a case for future investment in road safety activities. Remember - you may be competing with a wide range of other demands for funding - if you can prove the benefits of what you have done, you are in a good position to secure funding for the future.
  • External partners or stakeholders, e.g. community groups, police. Others may have invested time or financial support in the project - prove to them the effect that it has had, and they’ll be keener to participate again.
  • Other local road safety delivery bodies. If you have done something really good - tell others about it. If there are things you would do differently if you did it again, share it with them to prevent them making the same mistake!
  • Your peers. In the future, your colleagues will be planning new interventions, initiatives and campaigns. If they can refer back to a concise and coherent report, it will help them decide what to do next time and avoid others needlessly reinventing the wheel.

You may want your report to serve all these purposes and audiences.

The key elements you need to include in the report are as follows:

  • A brief description of the road safety project and why you thought there was a need for it.
  • The cost of the project, making it clear what you have included.
  • The aims and objectives of the work.
  • The methodology used to evaluate – explain what you did in the evaluation.
  • The results of the evaluation – include any graphs, tables or quotes and have a running commentary on what the data show.
  • Things that went particularly well.
  • Things that you would do differently if you did it again.
  • Conclusion and recommendations – summarise what your results mean in the real world (i.e. was your project effective?) and recommend any improvements for future projects.

Try to write in plain English, and be as objective as you can. Use pictures, charts and graphs where it helps to explain things.

Not every project will be as effective as you hoped or meets its aims and objectives. If it didn’t, try to understand why not, and explain this in your report. This will help you, and others, to use what you have learned to improve future activities. Additionally, when the results were not what you were hoping it can be tempting not to publish your report. Try to avoid this temptation as others can learn from your experiences.