EVALUATIONS & INDEPENDENT REVIEWS
McGarry Consulting can help you review a project's performance. Our independent, honest and fresh evaluation of a project can help ensure lessons are learnt, success acknowledged and clear recommendations identified.
INTERIM & POST PROJECT EVALUATION
An evaluation assesses the impact of a policy, programme or project against its original objectives taking account of changing circumstances. In simple terms, did the project turn out as expected? If not, why not? and what lessons can be learnt for future projects? Normally this happens shortly after the project finishes (Post Project Evaluation) or when it reaches a pivotal point (interim evaluation). However larger projects may require more frequent episodic evaluations.
Most publicly funded projects will have had SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic & Time-bound) objectives set before their funding application could be approved. Upon approval, the funder would normally issue a letter of offer outlining major milestones and monitoring requirements. These will often include periodic targets and/or key performance indicators (KPIs) against which performance can be measured. Much if this information is usually taken from the project’s economic appraisal (where applicable). McGarry Consulting's familiarity with appraisals helps provide a more rounded view of the project and how it came about.
MULTI-YEAR PROJECT EVALUATIONS & NEW OUTCOMES BASED APPROACH
Many multi-year projects are now incorporating the evaluation at an early stage, to assist with monitoring and reporting. Recent moves towards Outcome Based Accounting, may also change the way future evaluations report on a project’s success. It is easy to be all consumed by a project and/or be conflicted by a close connection to it. This reinforces the need to bring in an external eye to evaluate a project.
Fresh set of eyes
And a In-Depth Look at Your Project
In planning for a project remember to cost in the evaluation and how targets/outcomes will be recorded. With projects that have recently finished or will close shortly, make sure to retain contact details for key personnel and be aware of timelines. Some funders may not provide final funding or support subsequent project funding applications until the evaluation is complete.
Independent evaluations or reviews are an important project management tool, which are separate to funding audits and verifications. McGarry Consulting can help explain and establish monitoring and evaluation requirements before the project commences, thus reducing confusion and expense at later date. Not all projects will turn out exactly as planned. Whether successful or unsuccessful evaluations are important in being able to understand what happened and what lessons can be learned in the future. To do this, evaluations need an independent party who can diligently discover and analyse the necessary evidence. Then present it clearly and objectively. You also need to consider who will see your evaluation; and how best you can present and promote it. McGarry Consulting can assist with all aspects of evaluation and presentation.
If you are involved in a project that is not performing as well as it could, you should consider an independent review. Especially if your project involves partnerships, stressed relationships and/or unplanned or ongoing subsidies. Bringing in an independent party allows for a fresh perspective and honest assessment of the project. It enables people to have their say, anonymously if they wish and for proposals to resolve the situation to be brought to light. Often it is also necessary to alert people to the seriousness of a situation; and be seen to act before legal obligations or funders compel you. Reviews can be discreet, tailored to suit your needs and/or scaled depending on initial findings. Irrespective of budget, you need someone skilled and impartial to be effective. Call or email McGarry Consulting to learn more.
Related Concepts: Post Project Evaluation (PPE), Interim Evaluation, Progress Reports, Monitoring, Surveys, Audit and Verification