Evaluation is an essential part of quality improvement and when done well it can help solve problems, inform decision making and build knowledge. While evaluation comes in many shapes and sizes, its key purpose is to help us to develop a deeper understanding of how best to improve health care.

Download Evaluation: what to consider.

People involved in quality improvement often ask us about how to approach evaluation. Inspired by the most commonly asked questions, this guide is intended to assist those new to evaluation by suggesting methodological and practical considerations and providing resources to support further learning.

Ten questions covered in the guide

  1. Why do an evaluation?
  2. What are the different types of evaluation?
  3. What are the design considerations for an evaluation? 
  4. What are we comparing our intervention with?
  5. How does evaluation differ from other forms of measurement? 
  6. What practical issues should we consider?
  7. When should we start and finish an evaluation?
  8. How do we cope with changes in the intervention when the evaluation is underway? 
  9. Should we do the evaluation ourselves or commission an external team?
  10. How do we communicate evaluation findings?

The guide is not prescriptive or step-by-step as people and organisations will have very diverse evaluation needs. Instead, it aims to stimulate your thinking and support your plans for an evaluation that delivers what you need.


karen wild

my students really engage with Health foundation literature. This topic is particularly helpful to explain the evaluative element of service/quality improvement.

Miss Rebecca Clegg

Hi Karen

Glad your students find our publications useful. Remember, you can order any of our publications free of charge from the publication pages.

Kind regards

Katie Corfield

This document has helped a lot with my team working presentation. How would I reference the document?

Rebecca Clegg

Hi Katie - glad to hear it. Please just include 'The Health Foundation' as the reference.

Kind regards

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