In association with

  • Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board
  • West of England Academic Health Science Network
  • National Institute for Health Research

Identify & Understand

Having a good understanding of your planned service will improve your evaluation.


The following tools are either internal resources developed by the BNSSG CCG Clinical Effectiveness and Research Team or useful external resources.

BNSSG CCG Clinical Effectiveness and Research Team

Identifying your Stakeholders

Tool for Identifying your Stakeholders

West of England AHSN Communication and Stakeholder engagement

Involving your Stakeholders

Use the Public Involvement and Impact Assessment Framework (PiiAF) to help you plan and evaluate public involvement.

These guidelines aim to support anyone working in evaluation to embed patient and public involvement (PPI) into their evaluation activities and to ensure that public contributors really feel part of the evaluation team.

Understanding the Evidence Base

Visit our EvidenceWorks toolkit for more information.

Understanding your Service/Product

The following are useful guides to logic modelling and developing your theory of change:

Logic Model – Kellogg’s guide

Theory of Change – NPC

West of England AHSN Driver Diagram

Please note we are not responsible for the content of external sites and these are for guidance only.


What and Why


The first steps to successfully planning your evaluation are to:

    1. Identify who your key stakeholders are and involve them in your evaluation
    2. Understand the evidence base for the service or product you are planning
    3. Understand how and what your service or product plans to achieve and why

Identify your key stakeholders

We recommend, where possible, to try and involve representatives from your key stakeholder groups to help you to design, deliver and disseminate your evaluation and the associated findings. Stakeholders include anyone who has a vested interest in the outcome of your service or product. This might be patients or the public, staff, funders or others.

Engaging the right stakeholders at the beginning of the evaluation planning process helps elicit buy-in and can help to ensure your evaluation is successful.  It creates an opportunity to identify additional resources and people with relevant skills, knowledge, insight and expertise including experts in evaluation.  For tools to support, please see the toolbox above.

Understand the Evidence base

It is important to consider what evidence is available to inform your planning and decision making in terms of the service, as well as the evaluation.

You will be familiar with using a broad range of evidence from multiple sources including needs assessments, public health and performance data, evidence from research and best practice as well as expertise and local learning from evaluation, stakeholder feedback and consultations.  This evidence can be used to inform your service and evaluation design.  For help accessing and applying evidence from research, evaluation and the grey literature check out our  EvidenceWorks toolkit and use the toolbox above.

Understand your service

Understanding your service or product in terms of the need you are trying to address, activities that will be undertaken as part of the service or product and the changes (outcomes and impact) you are trying to achieve will help you to plan your evaluation.

Engage your stakeholders and use your evidence review to help to explore how the planned service or product will work.  Use the evidence you have collected to explore your assumptions around how planned activities will lead to desired outcomes.  Take into account the context within which your service or product is operating.  A logic model is a useful tool to help you with this and can help you engage your stakeholders, communicate your plans and focus your evaluation. This is one way of developing a ‘theory of change’ and the toolbox above has some suggested tools to help with this.

Local experts

Don’t forget to involve your local experts within your own or partner organisations to help you with these steps, including:

“All evaluations should be underpinned by a theory of change or some other description of the intended outcomes”
Think NPC

Top Tip!

Involve and engage all key stakeholders in the prioritisation, planning, delivery and dissemination of the evaluation. This helps elicit buy-in and can help ensure your evaluation is successful.