The following key principles are useful to follow in reporting the results of monitoring and evaluation.
Consider the audience for the results. Separate reports may be useful for different stakeholders. Policy makers may require an overview of results and a summary of the implications. Practitioners may benefit from a more detailed technical report. It may be appropriate to develop an information leaflet, web page or news article to summarise some of the main impacts of the ITS for the general public.
Make sure that the results are reported in a transparent way, easy to understand and easy to compare with other studies. Include details of the statistical confidence in quantitative results – where this is appropriate. Provide background supporting information about the context of the scheme (perhaps include references to other sources for further background information) to help users transfer the results to other contexts.
Include both positive and negative impacts to provide a balanced report. Ensure that both qualitative and quantitative impacts are reported – and avoid giving the impression that more value is placed on indicators than can be readily be quantified. For example, some impacts can be converted into monetary values and combined with others to provide an overall ratio of costs to benefits. This will not be possible for all indicators – but those that cannot be measured in this way should also be reported. Frameworks such as ‘planning balance sheet’ and ‘multi-criteria analysis’ can be used to summarise results.
Make the results widely available so that decision makers and practitioners elsewhere can learn from them. This will help to build a knowledge base for evaluating ITS and help to reduce the time and effort involved in planning, implementing and evaluating other schemes.
Results can be published through journals, presentations at conferences, webinars, or by submitting reports to web sites that publish case study. Potential platforms include the:
The following topics are useful to cover in any technical report of evaluation results (which may also include further information as appendices:
Sources of guidance on evaluation planning and reporting.
There are several sources of guidance on writing evaluation plans and reporting results: