Field trials of a novel toolkit for evaluating ‘intangible’ values-related dimensions of projects
A novel toolkit has been developed, using an original approach to develop its components, for the purpose of evaluating ‘soft’ outcomes and processes that have previously been generally considered ‘intangible’: those which are specifically values based. This represents a step-wise, significant, change in provision for the assessment of values-based achievements that are of absolutely key importance to most civil society organisations (CSOs) and values-based businesses, and fills a known gap in evaluation practice. In this paper, we demonstrate the significance and rigour of the toolkit by presenting an evaluation of it in three diverse scenarios where different CSOs use it to co-evaluate locally relevant outcomes and processes to obtain results which are both meaningful to them and potentially comparable across organisations. A key strength of the toolkit is its original use of a prior generated, peer-elicited ‘menu’ of values-based indicators which provides a framework for user CSOs to localise. Principles of participatory, process-based and utilisation-focused evaluation are embedded in this toolkit and shown to be critical to its success, achieving high face-validity and wide applicability. The emerging contribution of this next-generation evaluation tool to other fields, such as environmental values, development and environmental sustainable development, shared values, business, education and organisational change is outlined.
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