One of the endemic problems of campus activism is, of course, the lack of continuity as leaders change from year to year. It seems that Jewish student unions are forever destined to be re-inventing the wheel’ as new activists annually do the same research and tackle the same problems.
The importance of evaluation The process of evaluation is crucial in organising for two reasons:
You need to find out if you achieved what you wanted
Your need to distil your experiences, so you and others can learn from them.
Evaluation helps you clarify if you got what you wanted and if not, why not.
Imagine if you had a file of evaluations of successful and not so successful events which were organised in the past by people like yourself. Imagine that these events were similar to the ones you are organising. Imagine further that these evaluations include specific information about funding, resources, publicity, logistics, the planning process, goals, side effects, useful contacts, things to learn and remember for the future…
General and Specific Goals. What were they? Were they clear to everyone involved? Were the specific goals met? Were they reasonable? If the goals were not met, why?
Unexpected Side Effects. What were they? If any.
Participants Feedback. What was their reaction? How did the participants feel about the event?
Follow Up. What remains to be done? (eg. Wipe the peanut butter off the walls, contact interested people and get the involved, write thank you notes, return borrowed materials, etc)
Funding. Was it sufficient? What was the budget? What were sources of funds?
Resources. What resources were used in planning and programming? What resources which could / should have been used were not?
Publicity. What were the target audiences? How were they reached? Was the publicity adequate? Any suggestions or hints to remember for next time?
Logistics. Were there any problems with the facilities (e.g. echo in auditorium), transportations, accommodations etc.?
Planning and Group Process. Were decisions made democratically? Were enough people / or too many involved in the process? Were new people incorporated into the planning process?