Blog: The value of self-evaluation support from third sector perspective
In our fifth and last (but not least) blog to celebrate Evaluation Support Scotland’s 10th year Fiona McRoberts, Support Services Manager at Argyll and Bute Rape Crisis reflects on the value of self-evaluation support from a third sector perspective.
All of our workers are funded by different funders, some even have two funders so being able to drill down into the information we collect and collate over the funded period and to have a system of making sure they get what they need from us, has made the process so much easier for us, both individually and as an organisation.
Training from ESS has made our whole Evaluation and Monitoring experience so much easier. The lack of jargon, for me particularly, has been great – previous experiences with evaluation and monitoring left me with a bit of a nervous tic every time “outcomes” were mentioned! When you don’t completely understand the ABC’s, it’s very difficult to read Shakespeare and that was how I felt about evaluation and monitoring until fairly recently. The last training day we had was hugely helpful to all of us – the trainer was able to show us how we could make the whole process “bespoke” to each project/worker. We were able to look at evaluation and monitoring and see it as a more positive aspect of our work, rather than (as had been the case previously) slightly dreading it.
The staff at ESS have all been really friendly and approachable and they, quite clearly, know their stuff – being able to come to an organisation like ours, where there are many different “projects” in action at any one time, and to help us work out ways to embed evaluation into normal working practice, is no small feat. Personally, I feel less stressed and more confident in my abilities around evaluation and monitoring now than I did prior to the input from ESS.
Third sector organisations benefit from self-evaluation. They learn about how effective their work is and how to improve it.