Planning for evidence

Planning is an important first stage in the evidence cycle. We recommend that you build this into your process and that you regularly review.

As well as understanding your programme, service, or organisation (including the problem or situation at hand), stakeholders and evidence base, you need to have an understanding of when and why evidence is useful, whether or not your organisation is evaluation-ready and how to do evaluation. 


How to prepare for evidence

There are many reasons for collecting evidence. The Evidence rating scale provides context for use of evidence and what is trying to be achieved. 

Module 1 of the Evaluation handbook discusses evaluation as a form of evidence gathering, its purpose and who it is for.

Not all evidence has to be specially collected. The Guide to using administrative data outlines the prerequisites for effective use of data that already exists.


How to get your organisation evaluation-ready

The Toolkit to help you get your organisation ready to do evaluations will help you develop a successful evaluation culture.

Module 2 of the Evaluation handbook also looks at things you need to consider prior to evaluation.


How to do evaluation

The Evaluation handbook provides an overview of the entire process, covering  technical aspects (such as intervention logic and indicators) in a user-friendly and practical way.

An important resource for all, the Evaluation standards developed in partnership with the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA), promote good quality evaluation.



A body of facts or information that can be presented to inform judgement. Evidence can be quantitative or qualitative, and may come from various sources including performance monitoring, research, evaluation, statistics and expert opinion.

Evaluation planning for funding applicants - this step-by-step guide includes information on developing evaluation questions, deciding how much evaluation is needed and how to identify indicators.  

Evaluation guide for funders – this guide promotes a collaborative approach to working with providers.

Evidence checklist – this list describes the evidence for effectiveness.

Superu commissioned two evaluation case studies. The lessons learned report outlines what is needed to get an organisation ready to do an evaluation of their work. The evaluation findings for the mentoring programmes (one a process evaluation, the other an outcome evaluation) are also available.

Superu has also commissioned a range of other evaluations (e.g. summative, cost-benefit, place-based) related to the Prime Minister's Youth Mental Health Project.

We know words matter. To help you out we have put together a full evaluation glossary that presents a range of terms, gives a brief definition and explanation for each of them, and lists some alternatives or synonyms you might also come across. 

ANZEA - Aotearoa New Zealand's professional association for evaluators.

What Works NZ has produced a webinar: Amaze your funders.

Evaluating not-for-profit services is a useful page of resources and information from Platform NZ.

Better Evaluation is an international collaboration that has published the steps involved in planning and managing an evaluation.

Nesta UK has published an evidence planning worksheet you can download.

Last update: 18 Oct 2017