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Guide to Aims and Objectives

Setting Aims and Objectives

It is important to get your aims and objectives right at the outset as this will guide your evaluation design. Involving key stakeholders in setting the aims and objectives of the evaluation helps elicit buy-in; promotes cooperation; ensures all interests are accounted for; and that expectations are managed.

The overall aim will be a statement of what the evaluation will do. The objectives are narrower statements of what the evaluation will try to achieve in order to meet the overall aim.  The case study below summarises a real-life process of co-producing evaluation objectives with a stakeholder group conducting a training pilot in partnership with volunteers to increase the skills and knowledge of people with Fibromyalgia.  The group met to discuss what was important for each of them and considered how the objectives linked together. Note how some of the objectives meet the needs of more than one stakeholder.

Stakeholder

What they want from the evaluation

Agreed Objective

The Lay Representative

To see how the project is improving experience of living with the condition in order to influence NICE guideline review

To evaluate the impact of the training on patient knowledge and skills for enhanced self-care of fibromyalgia

To measure stakeholder satisfaction with the approach 

The Health Commissioner

Is the intervention cost-effective?

Does it fit in with the NHS organisation’s strategic priorities?

To understand the potential of the project to effect cost-savings through a reduction in unnecessary hospital admissions and unnecessary GP attendances. 

The Service Provider

Are the aims of the project met? (ie in this case, do patients’ knowledge and skills to self-manage increase?)

What do users of the service think of the project? 

To evaluate the impact of the training on patient knowledge and skills for enhanced self-care of fibromyalgia .

To measure stakeholder satisfaction with the approach 

The Voluntary Sector Partner

Did volunteers help meet the aims of the project?

What was the experience of Volunteers in the project?

Do volunteers have the potential to deliver cost-savings?

To evaluate the impact of the training on patient knowledge and skills for enhanced self-care of fibromyalgia .

To measure stakeholder satisfaction with the approach  

To understand the potential of the project to effect cost-savings through a reduction in unnecessary hospital admissions and unnecessary GP attendances. 

AIM: to assess the impact of the pilot to make recommendations to commissioners about future funding 

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