Program Evaluation

NSF Consulting conducts evaluations to help clients understand the extent to which their programs or initiatives have been effective in achieving their stated objectives. We explore whether pilot program are appropriate responses to the issues or objectives at hand, and whether they have been implemented efficiently. We also explore whether they have delivered value for money.

We conduct Formative Evaluations–to support and improve the management, implementation and development of programs; or Summative Evaluations–to study the effectiveness and overall value of programs that have been in place for some time.

Before we start a program evaluation we prepare an Evaluation Framework, which details each of the identified program objectives, their related key performance measures, the relevant evaluation questions we intend to ask to address each measure, and where we intend to source the information. This helps us focus precisely on what needs to be measured and helps us to identify exactly where that information is likely to be sourced. It also helps clients clarify in their minds the key questions they need answered.

The development of the Evaluation Framework is an iterative process that involves close collaboration with the client and a number of discussions if necessary. A well prepared Evaluation Framework sets up the program evaluation on a solid footing and keeps it focused on the important areas of exploration.

We use a selection of qualitative and quantitative evaluation tools, including:

  • Tailor designed approaches and evaluation frameworks;
  • Analysis of existing data and records;
  • Focus groups and in-depth interviews with program providers and users;
  • Surveys, including online, telephone and paper-based;
  • Targeted literature reviews; and
  • Creation of multi-media case studies.

We prepare an Evaluation Report for our clients–written in plain English–which details the findings of the evaluation and includes evaluative conclusions that are robust and defensible, regarding whether a program or initiative should be continued, expanded, changed, or discontinued. Our advice is based on solid, evidence-based research, which helps our clients feel comforted they can make decisions with a reduced level of risk.

We have conducted program evaluations for Local, State and Federal government, as well as for arts organisations and the not-for profit sector. Our clients have included Arts Queensland, Arts Victoria, a number of local councils in NSW, and a number of not-for-profit organisations throughout Australia.

We have enjoyed working with NSF Consulting on evaluation of arts and cultural programs in Queensland and appreciate their professional and thorough approach. We have found them to be consistently reliable in meeting agreed deadlines, always open to finding positive solutions and inclusive of the needs of a range of stakeholders. Lone Keast, Director, Arts Policy and Grants Coordinator, Arts Queensland
Arts Victoria were impressed by NSF's commitment to undertaking thorough and in-depth research. They were highly professional and flexible to deal with and produced a quality report that balanced sound research with useful and targeted recommendations for our organisation. Sue Doyle, Senior Arts Officer, Policy and Research, Arts Victoria