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Public engagement evaluation: Can you see the wood for the trees?

Lead Authors

Mrs Fran Marshall (Research and Evaluation Manager, University of Sheffield)

The poster demonstrates how the evaluation of public engagement events can be considered as a process and is represented by a tree. The tree roots represent the aims and objectives of the event, what the evaluation seeks to find out and the kind of evaluation being undertaken. Evaluation planning is represented by the tree trunk and comprises five elements: evaluation questions, the public, type of event, who is being evaluated and resources. The branches of the tree represent evaluation methods which lead to the tree’s fruit (evaluation data). The data are collected to form the evaluation report and is connected back to the tree roots and event’s objectives. The poster was put together to show the context and process of evaluation to encourage the audience to think about planning evaluation at an early stage. Its creative design shows how evaluation can be adapted to suit the research or event.

Key Messages

The evaluation of public engagement is important to discover what the audience think of your event and how you can demonstrate its impact.
Evaluation should be thought of as a process not simply a survey done at the end of your event.
Evaluation can be used as a way of critically reflecting on your event to see whether its aims and objectives have been met.