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Resourcing and evaluation

In this step you will learn about the different resources you will need to carry out your evaluation.

A page of a spiral notebook with RESOURCES written on it.
In this step you will learn more about the different resources you will need to carry out your evaluation.

Access to existing data

It is important to think about existing data that might already be available to help and support your evaluation. 

External Data

There could be external data available – for example research reports already published that provide useful information for you. This could be other social return on investment (SROI) studies, or economic impact assessments that would provide you with a useful benchmark for your evaluation. 

Internal Data

There might also be useful data that exists within your organisation or project. If you are evaluating an audience engagement initiative, for example, there may already be data available about current audience numbers and profile.

Other data collection options

There may also be data being collected by other people involved that could be useful to you – for example when young people join the programme you are evaluating, what information is already being collected at this point?

Skills, willingness and availability of people involved in the evaluation

You need to think about who will be carrying out the actual evaluation activities. You might be doing it yourself and involving other internal colleagues, or have the budget to commission an external evaluator to support you. 

Being clear about the time commitment you need from everyone involved in the evaluation is important. You may need senior colleagues to sign off questions, front of house colleagues may be able to help you distribute surveys, or do some data entry, or there may be volunteers who can assist you. It is vital to have conversations with anyone you hope will support the evaluation to ensure they have the time and the willingness to be involved.

You may need to think about using your evaluation budget to pay for colleagues’ time, or their expenses, if you’re working with volunteers or freelance artists. Some people involved in the evaluation may need training, briefing or other support to be involved. 

For example: if you have a team of volunteers surveying audiences, it is important they are fully trained and briefed, and feel confident in what you are asking them to do, so you need to build in the time and costs of doing this.

You may have the budget to commission an external evaluator, but it’s still important to be clear about what tasks you are expecting them to do, and how you will work together.


Being clear about the duration of the evaluation is vital, as the length of the evaluation will have a direct relationship with the resources required. A multi-year programme with different strands of activities will take considerable resources to evaluate, whereas a six-week programme of workshops will be much simpler and easier and will need to be more proportionate (reflecting back on the Evaluation Principles you explored in Week 1). It’s important to think about the evaluation activities separate from the actual programme too. 

For example: you may want to follow up with participants six months after the end of a skills programme to understand the longer term impacts it has had on their professional development so you can demonstrate positive change.

Within the evaluation too, you will probably be collecting evidence at different points, and the frequency with which you need to do this will impact on the resources required. 

For example: you may be establishing some baselines at the start of a programme and then measuring the change at the end – a summative approach – or you could be gathering data at intervals throughout a programme, taking a more formative or iterative approach. 

The more often you are collecting evidence, the greater resource you will need.

Evaluation methods

As we saw in the previous Activity, Evaluation Methods, different methods will require different levels of resourcing. Quantitative data capture using questionnaires can be low resource, whereas specialist facilitation of discussion groups will be more costly. Creative methods may cost more and remember to consider any technical requirements like filming or editing for things like vox pops or video diaries and the ethical implications of these kinds of methods.


It’s vital to establish if there is a budget available for your evaluation, how much it is and how and when you might access it. Many programmes or projects will have a proportion of the budget allocated to evaluation, especially if they are externally funded, as this will be a requirement of the funder. It may be that there is a fixed amount of funding available for the evaluation or a range, and you need to plan your evaluation activities accordingly to fit within this. 

Or perhaps you can cost out the evaluation first and then access the funding you need.

  • If there isn’t a budget available, are there ways you could obtain one? 
  • Who would you need to speak to and what would they need to know?
  • How would you make the case?

In the next step you will learn more about ways in which you can estimate the resources required to conduct an evaluation.

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Evaluation for Arts, Culture, and Heritage: Principles and Practice

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