Communicate the findings
What is it?
Using a variety of ways to communicate the findings of the evaluation and the subsequent review to stakeholders and others, some of whom may have an important role in the future.
Why do this?
- Failing to communicate could lead to missing out on recognition or funding opportunities, even if the intervention has been successful
- Information from your intervention can be useful to others working on a similar challenge.
This can cover both what has worked well, and what has not worked so well. For example, if an intervention banning smoking in public places has shown that parents are now more likely to smoke at home around their children, then relevant organisations need to understand this and react to it
- Communicating your results offers an opportunity for you to get valuable feedback from others on what you have learned
- Communication is likely to nurture and develop relationships that were formed earlier in the process and which may be important for the future
- It is important that intelligence gained from the evaluation enters the public arena and is as accessible as possible
- By making the results available, you provide a starting point for others addressing similar interventions in the future
How might you do this?
- Don’t miss out on the opportunity to communicate how the intervention has gone, particularly if there is good news to tell
- Let funders and potential funders know, as early as possible, the results of the intervention and how successful it has been
- Communicate not only what you have achieved, but what has not worked as well as expected and what you would recommend as a result
- Think about how you can share the findings with your target audience and how they might benefit from this knowledge
- Use a range of dissemination tactics: events, website-based comments pages, the local media, staff newsletters, community newspapers and so on
- Get information on the work onto practice databases or similar resources like the NSM Centre’s ‘Showcase’ database (or the Department of Health alcohol learning centre)
- Make sure that there are opportunities for people to get back to you with their feedback
- Don’t assume that being honest about shortcomings will have negative consequences. For example, stakeholders may have good ideas about what can be done to overcome a particular problem
- When planning to communicate, think of the best channels to use in order to reach your main audiences and decision makers. This is your opportunity to create a legacy for the intervention beyond the project and your local area by adding to the evidence base
- Information widely circulated about the intervention and how it has worked
- Empowerment of people with a potential contribution to make to the intervention, or other interventions, in the future