Thinking about what has been learnt from measurement and evaluation (M&E) helps us to adapt and improve. Sharing results and findings with colleagues and other organisations can help them to be more effective. It can also give more credibility to your work.
In Step 6 you'll use the findings from your M&E data collection and analysis to make improvements to your funding stream or project and share findings with others to improve understanding and knowledge within your organisation and throughout the wider sector.
1. Review M&E Data and Reports Regularly
Look at and discuss the M&E data that you are collecting and analysing, as described in Step 5, with colleagues and other stakeholders. It is a good idea to plan regular meetings to have these discussions. Think about whether the funding stream or project is working as you thought it would. This might include looking at:
Quantitative data (numbers): Are the figures for any activities, outputs or outcome measures significantly below or above what you thought they would be at that point in time?
Qualitative data (descriptive): Is there any information that can help you to understand why the figures are not what you expected, such as feedback from staff and people taking part?
TIP: Remember to look at all the things your data shows that could be of interest, not just the information that explains why the figures recorded are above or below expectations.
Conduct reflection meetings to review and discuss M&E findings at least every six months, if not more frequently, while the funding stream or project is running. Don’t wait until it's finished, as you might miss opportunities to make important changes that could help you achieve your intended outcomes.
We have developed a ‘Reflection Meeting Template’ to help guide the discussions you have in your reflection meetings and document your findings and learnings.
Recommended Action 1. Hold reflection meetings to look at and discuss the M&E data and reports with colleagues. 2. Document any key findings / learning in the ‘Reflection Meeting Template’.
2. Adapt Delivery Based on Learning
Whenever you review M&E findings, think about what you could change to make the funding stream or project more effective. This could be building on successes or tackling problems that you've identified. If you are managing a funding stream, this may involve working with individual projects that are under-performing, or it may involve changes to the whole funding stream.
You should also think about whether you need to improve the M&E arrangements:
Are you getting the right quality of information?
Is the data complete, or are there gaps?
Has qualitative or informal feedback shown any outcomes you didn’t expect? Could you start to measure these?
Recommended Action Use the learning from your reflection meetings to adapt and make any necessary improvements to the delivery of your funding stream or project.
3. Share Findings and Learning
There are many ways that you can benefit from sharing the findings from your measurement and evaluation with other individuals, teams and organisations that may find it useful.
In addition to helping you show the impact of your work, M&E also provides individuals and organisations with valuable learning that can be used in a variety of ways, for example:
Cascading relevant learning to the people who deliver products and services ‘on the ground’, such as coaches and activity co-ordinators, can help drive improvements in delivery and enhance the knowledge and skills of staff.
By sharing M&E findings with the people in your organisation responsible for engaging and recruiting participants, you can more effectively reach your target audience and increase the number of people you work with.
By sharing evidence from your M&E data that shows the impact and effectiveness of your work, you may be able to develop relationships with local organisations such as councils, county sport partnerships and charities.
By tracking and showing evidence of progress towards a range of outcomes, you will give confidence to potential funders that you are able to deliver against your objectives. By measuring outcomes beyond basic participation and attendance, you may also open up new funding opportunities with a range of organisations.
Reporting on failure as well as success can help build credibility and trust with funders, who will appreciate your honesty and transparency and welcome the learning you've obtained. The only real failure is one that's repeated.
It’s also useful to share measurement and evaluation findings with other organisations to help them in their work. You can share evaluation studies by:
sending them directly to interested organisations
publishing them on your own website
hosting events to share and discuss the results
talking through the findings with individuals
some evaluation studies can be published in academic journals and/or shared at academic conferences
We have developed a ‘Learning Dissemination Plan’ template to help you consider and document which findings and learnings you should share and who you should share them with.
Recommended Actions 1. Use the 'Learning Dissemination Plan' template to document the key learnings from your M&E and how you will communicate these internally and externally. 2. Share M&E findings and learning with internal colleagues and teams to improve knowledge, skills and understanding. 3. Share M&E findings and learning with other relevant organisations to help improve the effectiveness of funding streams and projects throughout the sector.
Evidence of Outcomes
Sport England has completed a review of the evidence on the contribution of sport and physical activity to the five outcomes in the government's strategy for sport. We plan to update this review from time to time as the evidence base develops.
It is likely that some evaluation studies designed using this framework will feed into future updates of the evidence review.
need some help?
If you need extra help or advice speak to your Sport England contact.
You should document any key learnings that come out of your reflection meetings / workshops. You can use the 'Reflection Meeting Log Template' to help structure these meetings and to document what is discussed.
To ensure that you are sharing and communicating relevant findings and learning to the right people, create a 'Learning Dissemination Plan', which will help you to define what you need to share, how and with whom.