Analysing Existing Documents

It is useful to review existing documents relating to your intervention before creating a research design from scratch. Not only does this help you with the design of your evaluation, you may also learn about what has and hasn't worked elsewhere and potential reasons for this. It can provide an understanding of road safety interventions, examine trends and aid development of evaluation materials.

Document analysis is a critical analysis of documentation rather than simply a review of documents. It should state the purpose of a document and how it is used.

Documents could include reports on interventions, minutes of meetings, correspondence, mission statements, and training materials.


  • Using existing data sources saves time and cost of data collection
  • Can be used to collect baseline data
  • Can provide an insight into the programme and the decisions that have been made


  • Data may have been collected for another purpose so may not be in the format required or in sufficient detail