It's always valuable to have a plan for measuring the impact of your program. Our evaluation tools can be a resource to you as you develop ways to assess Inquiry in the Community in your council, as well as other program quality initiatives.
These tools were created by our evaluation partner, Evaluation & Research Associates, as we developed and piloted Inquiry in the Community. As such, some of the questions may not be relevant to your council context, but feel free to use these evaluation tools as inspiration. Please attribute Evaluation & Research Associates and Inquiry in the Community if you use or adapt any of these materials.
If you are planning to gather data - whether it's through surveys, interviews, or another assessment method, here are some points you might address in the introduction to your assessment tool:
- Let your volunteers know why you're administering the assessment.
- How will the data be used?
- Is the assessment anonymous? That is, can you identify who the volunteer is by reading their responses? There are various ways to preserve anonymity: do not ask for personally identifiable information (name, etc.); provide the resulting data in aggregate (do not break out the results by level if there is only one brownie troop in your town). Not all assessments need to be anonymous, but in general it's good practice to share what was said and not who said it.
- Is the assessment confidential? That is, who will have access to the data? If you are a program manager conducting a survey to determine the success of an event, will you share an interesting comment with colleagues or will you simply use the data to improve planning for your next event? If you receive information that indicates an intervention is needed (for example, a volunteer is not following correct procedures) or you want to celebrate an outstanding volunteer, promising confidentiality would prevent you from acting on that information.