About the Evaluation Toolkit
As part of the Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI) project, funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020, Europlanet commissioned a dedicated outreach Evaluation Toolkit in order to empower outreach providers, scientists and educators in measuring and appraising the impact of their activities.
This Toolkit is intended to provide advice and resources that can be simply and easily integrated into normal outreach and education activities.
The Toolkit does not assume any previous knowledge of evaluation. Instead, all the information and advice (including worked examples where possible) is included to help get you started. We are not saying you have to evaluate all your outreach and education work but if you do decide to do some evaluation – or are informed that you must evaluate something – we want to help ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. This toolkit is designed to help you with that process – to help you conduct evaluations that do not take too much time for either your audience or you, and that produce useful information.
How was the toolkit developed?
Professional outreach evaluators Karen Bultitude and Jennifer DeWitt (UCL, UK) were tasked with developing the toolkit, with strong support from Anita Heward, the Europlanet Outreach Coordinator.
Initially, a series of focus groups and scoping discussions were held with members of the planetary science community that are active in outreach in order to determine what they wanted from such a toolkit, and what sort of tools would be of most interest. A shortlist of tools was developed based on these discussions, with volunteers testing out the tool instructions once
they were drafted. For some of the more in-depth tools the volunteers’ experiences were developed into worked examples to help provide more concrete information about how to apply the tools in real-life situations. The Toolkit was also distributed to expert evaluators from the wider evaluation and public engagement communities for comment and feedback. Once the final revisions were incorporated into the Toolkit it was released publicly to the Europlanet community (and beyond) for implementation.
We would like extend a very warm thanks to all of the various wonderful people who have been so generous with their time and ideas during the development of the Europlanet Evaluation Toolkit. We also gratefully
acknowledge the various stimulating collaborations we’ve had with many other different evaluation experts over the years, whose insights, rigour and expertise have creatively informed our professional evaluation practice, as well as the development of this toolkit.
In addition, we have highlighted within the specific tools where an individual or organisation has been closely associated with its development.
Many thanks, too, to Gail Renaud and David Santos, who produced the printed version of the Toolkit.
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