This summary has been developed by Alberta Mentoring Partnership.
Evaluation is an important part of a successful mentoring program because it allows you to better understand the impact of the mentoring relationship as well as make improvements to program design and operations.
Key points on the topic:
- Decide what you want to measure – program processes and/or program outcomes. You may want to ask yourself these important questions – Is the program being run in an effective and efficient manner? Is the program achieving what it set out to do?
- Develop a written evaluation plan. This will help make sure you have covered all relevant areas and keep you on track during the evaluation process.
- Develop a system for collecting and managing data related to your mentoring program and the matches.
- Utilize a variety of evaluation strategies. Some potential methods include surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, observations and interviews. Be sure to gather both qualitative and quantitative information
- Reflect on evaluation findings and make changes as necessary.
- Share evaluation findings. You may want to share your results with program participants, funders and the media.
What evaluation will bring to your organization?
Evaluation is a process that focuses upon your program/project for the purpose of increasing understanding, assessing processes and impacts, improving efficiency and effectiveness, and assisting you in making decisions.
Evaluation will help you with:
- Improving your program/project’s design and implementation enabling you to adapt your activities to ensure they contribute to the intended results. It will help you identify areas for improvement, new strategic horizons, and in disseminating information about the results you have achieved.
- Demonstrating your program’s impact, successes and progress. Evaluation will also shed light on places of challenge and barrier, and thereby empowers you to make the tactical choices that strengthen your program/project.
- Disseminating your results with key stakeholders, including funders, governance structures, and project beneficiaries. You will have valid and robust results to share that will generate discussion and increase awareness of the good work being achieved by you and your team. A solid evaluation will contribute to vibrant discussions about sustainability and forward-looking planning.
Where to go for help:
- The AMP website for evaluation information and links: www.albertamentors.ca
- The Canadian Evaluation Website is full of resources (e.g., see their Basic Guides to Evaluation): www.evaluationcanada.ca
- Ten issues to consider when considering an evaluation: http://bradroseconsulting.com/index.php/approaching-an-evaluation/
- Utilization-Focused Evaluation 4th edition, by Michael Q Patton (2008)
How do you undertake an evaluation?
- The Step by Step process: see image below for the 10 steps.
Learn More: Elements & Toolkits
- Download the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, Third Edition (From: MENTOR – mentoring.org)
- Download the Checklist for Mentoring Programs (From: MENTOR – mentoring.org)