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  Alternatives Pty Ltd
  ABN 23 050 334 435

The following workshops are suitable for managers and coordinators in community organisations. All of them can be provided in house and/or customised.


1. Evaluating Your Service Part 1 (1 day)
2. Evaluating Your Service Part 2 (2 days)
3. Facilitation Skills (1 day)
4. Questionnaires and Surveys, Designing, Using, Analysing (1 day)

Workshop descriptions

1. Evaluating Your Service Part 1

What is evaluation? How can you approach evaluation in human services? How do you know something worthwhile is happening in your service?

What are the key evaluation concepts and language (e.g. aims, objectives, strategies, efficiency, effectiveness, adequacy, appropriateness, outcomes, performance indicators, benchmarks, TQM)?

What evaluation model and tools are useful in community organisations (e.g. service plans, questionnaires, case studies, focus groups)? What is an appropriate mix of evaluation tools for your service?

This one day workshop is a prerequisite for Evaluating Your Service - Part 2 which will work on the practical skills needed to use specific tools (e.g. focus groups, questionnaires, etc.) By attending this workshop, participants will develop an approach to evaluation that is appropriate for human services and identify what needs to be done to have good evaluation mechanisms in place n their service.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • understand basic evaluation concepts and language
  • understand the differences between manufacturing processes and human service processes
  • understand the social and political context of evaluation
  • develop a plan for how to do a 'one off' evaluation
  • develop a plan for how to do ongoing internal evaluation
  • understand the basics of some evaluation tools and strategies (e.g. questionnaires and focus groups).
2. Evaluating Your Service Part 2

Do you want to evaluate your service? What do you do?

Except for a brief theoretical introduction (a recap on Evaluating Your Service Part1) this two day workshop will be practical.

Participants will work on:

  • what evaluation are you doing in your organisation?
  • What evaluation strategies would be useful to have in place in your organisation?
  • What tools are needed to implement the strategies?
  • developing the tools needed.

This will be a practical workshop and you should only come if you are ready to work on the practicalities of what you want done in your organisation, e.g. developing evaluation plans, focus groups, databases, questionnaire design, case studies, graphical presentation of information, consultation processes, measuring social capital, etc. This workshop will get you a long way down the path of putting evaluation strategies in place in your organisation.

Learning Outcomes

The specific learning outcomes will vary depending on the specific evaluation work that participants are doing in their organisations.

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • develop a plan for how to do a 'one off' evaluation (in more depth than evaluation 1)
  • develop a plan for how to doing ongoing internal Evaluation (in more depth than Evaluation 1)
  • understand the basics of a range of evaluation tools and strategies. e.g. questionnaires, focus groups, numerical data for reporting, data analysis, graphical presentation of information, etc. The specific tools worked on will relate to the evaluation work that participants are doing in their organisations.
3. Facilitation Skills

You are having a planning day - 15, 30 or 60 people have come - what do you do? You want to consult the community - 20, 50 or 90 people turn up to your public meeting, what do you do? You are consulting with staff as part of a service review process, what do you do?

In this one day workshop you will work on:

  • What is the role of a facilitator?
  • What are the characteristics of good facilitation?
  • What conceptual frameworks is it useful to keep in mind when facilitating?
  • What is your personal style? How to improve your facilitation practice through understanding your own and others personal style?
  • What facilitation processes can you use (pairs, small groups, etc.)?
  • How can you facilitate a planning day or similar process (step by step)?

The workshop will be very practical. Many of the suggested tools and techniques will be used in the workshop.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • understand the role of a facilitator
  • understand the conceptual frameworks facilitators need to keep in mind as they work
  • understand their own and others personal styles and use these insights to improve their facilitation practice
  • work on processes for the specific events they want to facilitate
  • identify a a range of facilitation strategies and processes
4. Questionnaires and Surveys: Designing, Using, Analysing

Questionnaires can be very useful tools in community organisations. They can also be poorly designed, used inappropriately and a waste of effort. This workshop is about how to make questionnaires useful.

Participants will work on when to use questionnaires and what are the steps to take if you want to get the most from them. Special emphasis will be given to:

  • Designing questionnaires
  • Getting them out and back
  • Collating questionnaires
  • Analysing questionnaires
  • Reporting on the results

Handouts will include examples of many questionnaires used in community organisations for organisational review, planning and evaluation.

Participants should bring a copy of questionnaires they use in their organisations. There will be the opportunity to critique them and refine them.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will have the opportunity to:

  • Identify when it is appropriate to use questionnaires.
  • Plan a process for developing and using a questionnaire
  • Identify what makes a good questionnaire
  • Explore aspects of how to ask good questions
  • Identify appropriate ways of collating , analysing and reporting on questionnaires