Sharing and learning from the evidence

The fourth stage of the evidence cycle is that you build upon the evidence. Reviewing evidence regularly is good practice and allows you to adapt your programme, service or organisation in a responsive manner, helping to ensure that you will have the impact that you seek.

Learning should not be limited to only those involved in the delivery or funding of your initiative. Sharing with others will not only help colleagues and peers to improve effectiveness and efficiency, it can also help the sector identify best practice around what works.

How to use the evidence

Module 4 of the Evaluation handbook looks at using and communicating evaluation findings.

Section 3.2 of the Evidence rating scale guides stakeholders on whether or not programmes or services should be implemented or continued in light of the evidence that is available.

Section 5.3 of the Evaluation standards (developed in partnership with Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA) discusses standards in the evaluation journey.

How to share evidence

The Publishing protocol sets out good practice for publishing government social science research and evaluation outputs.

The Hub is a one-stop-shop for New Zealand social science government research related to education, health and wellbeing, crime and justice, housing, employment, families, children and young people.

An example of sharing and learning from evidence is the one-page graphical summary, which captures the key points made during the interactive sessions which were part of our Evidence to Action 2017 conference. The question being addressed was :
How can we understand where each other is coming from, and ensure that evidence is more effectively used to bring about positive action?




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 understanding the cause of outcomes and interpreting results.  

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

Evidence checklist – this list describes the evidence for effectiveness.

Superu and Victoria University's School of Government hosted a round table in June 2017 on the use of evidence in public policy.

The Policy Project within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet produced this conversation tracker.

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 information encouraging sharing what you've learned and on becoming a learning organisation.

Community Research NZ is an active online site that features webinars, research and directories.

The Knowledge Mobilization toolkit from Canada will help you do more with what you know.

A handy guide to generating and using evidence has been published by Evaluation Scotland.

Last update: 28 Jun 2018