Making sense of evaluation: a handbook for everyone. Using evidence for impact

Superu - Families Commission
Superu. Social Policy Evaluation Research Unit
Publication date:

This handbook is primarily designed for people funding or purchasing social services, and providers of social services in New Zealand who need to understand more about how to measure and understand the effects of their programmes or initiatives. This can help people who are working with:
• programme design (and funding applications)
• management of programmes through good monitoring and feedback, including continuous improvement
• reporting on outcomes
• understanding what works, when and why.

What we cover in this handbook

The handbook has been developed to provide people new to evaluation with an overview of evaluation concepts and processes so that they are sufficiently equipped to work in this space (often, but not always, with a professional evaluator). In Module 4 we talk about how you can find an evaluator. It is not designed to be the definitive guide – there are many sources of help and guidance already in existence. We refer to some of these throughout the handbook. This handbook specifically relates to the New Zealand social sector and, as far as possible, avoids jargon and conceptual debates. However, it may be of interest to others given that the principles that are outlined are generally applicable to programmes and initiatives beyond the social sector.

The core team that produced this handbook was Isabelle Collins, Viv Smith, Sophie Debski, Kay Haughey and Deborah O’Kane.

See also:

Families Commission

Superu. Social Policy Evaluation Research Unit,


Last updated: 2017-09-19