Let’s talk about evaluation

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Blogging for the Q Community, Abigail Harrison, Haelo’s Director of Innovation, talks about the Evaluation Station – an accessible and fun way to get practical advice from global experts in evaluation. Hear about why and how the series was developed and find out about the latest episode

One of the parts of my work I enjoy the most is working in partnership with the Health Foundation to support the Innovating for Improvement grant award holders – teams who have an innovative idea that they are testing. As we coach the teams on their improvement journeys there is one topic that comes up time and time again… evaluation:

  • How will they understand the impact of their work?
  • What method / approach should they take?
  • When should evaluation start?
  • How can they evaluate without a designated budget?
  • How can they develop the skills to design and undertake an evaluation?
  • How do you develop the right evaluation questions?
  • What about attribution? In a complex system, how do we know if our work is what resulted in the outcomes we see?

We decided to provide some master classes to explore these questions and this led to our evaluation podcast series the Evaluation Station. We wanted to make evaluation accessible, interesting, practical and fun.

Throughout the series Nadine Payne (Evaluation Programme Manager at Haelo) and myself, reach out to global experts for practical advice about evaluating the impact of improvement work. They are pretty informal and are designed with people’s busy schedules in mind. You can listen on the way in to work, whilst you’re doing the dishes or walking the dog.

We’ve just published the second episode in which we speak to Prof. Martin Marshall, Professor of Healthcare Improvement in Primary Care and Population Health at University College London. Key discussion points include: how to incorporate learning from your evaluation in real time, using your evaluation to adapt your change theory as you go, learning from failure and some fantastic tips on how to plan and start your evaluation early, even without funding.

Professor Marshall was a pleasure to speak to and he had some fantastic advice. Have a listen to episode two and let us know what you think!

If you have ideas for future evaluation topics or guests or want to get involved, please get in touch.

What do you think?

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