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  Alternatives Pty Ltd
  ABN 23 050 334 435

Contents | 1. Essence | 2. Aproaches | 3. Process | 4. Measuring outcomes | 5. Paradoxes
6. Examples | 7. Jargon | 8. Checklist | 9. Practice tips | 10. Resources

9. Practice tips


A. Thinking about

B. Framing an

C. Evaluation
     report outline

D. Model of service
E. Community

F. Peer review
G. Focus groups
H. Telling stories
I. Staff time use
J. Questionnaires

A. Thinking about evaluation
Evaluation as a professional field has only emerged in the second half of the 20th Century. What is evaluation? What is its history? What is its role in society? What's its connection with research? What conceptual models does it use? What practical tools and strategies does it use?
This is list of key readings to give staring points for thinking about these questions.

B. Framing and planning a human service evaluation
If you wanted to evaluate a human service at a particular service outlet, or a human service project, how would you start to think about it.
This is a framework and tips getting started.

C. An evaluation report outline for a human service evaluation
In planning an evaluation one of the first questions to ask is what would the report look like? This helps focus thinking about what you want to achieve through the evaluation process.
This is a sample report outline to help think about the question: what should the report look like.

D. What is the model of service?
When one is evaluating a human service it is useful to understand what the model of service is.
This is a model for modes of human services.

E. The local community profile
Human services provide services to people in communities. To understand the human service one also needs to understand the community in which it operates. For example: Who lives in the community? Who uses the service? What is happening at the boundary between the community and the service where some people become service users and others do not?
This is an outline of what one could include in a community profile.

F. Reflecting on a human service - peer review
One way of reviewing a human service, human service project or community development project is to bring it to colleagues for peer review.
This is an outline of questions one might ask in the peer review process.

G. Focus groups
Focus groups are useful in exploring questions such as:
What are the question to be explored?
What is the service or project story?
What does the service mean to you?
This is a brief overview of what focus groups are and tips for running focus groups.

H. Case studies and telling stories
Interviews which allow people to tell stories than can then become part of case studies are very useful.
This is some tips on telling stories, writing stories and using stories.

I. Staff time use
In direct services the use of staff time can be easy to track (hours of counselling, hours in home visiting etc). In community development projects time use can be more difficult to track.
This is a tool for tracking time use for community development workers.

J. Questionnaires
Questionnaires are a cost effective way of gathering data in evaluation processes
Here is more detail about questionnaires that can be used in evaluating human services.