It is important at the outset to think about WHO should be involved in evaluating your exercise. Is it an expert group, or can it also be your participants themselves? Our advice is tailored to a project manager who runs the exercise, whether it uses a top-down or bottom-up model.

Good evaluation is a managed process throughout all stages of your exercise and should be built around your team and participants within safe and shared spaces, enabling issues, problems and lessons learnt to be identified and discussed.

SMART Indicators

From the start of your project, you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve, i.e. what 'success' looks like. Identify SMART indicators (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timebound) early on to measure your success. They might include:

  • Qualitative and quantitative measures that support your project goals
  • Developing indicators for the Design and Play stages
  • Identifying what evidence is required for each stage and how it will be secured and assessed
  • Capturing the views of the project team, steering group and participants (where appropriate) throughout the process and ideally through an evaluation questionnaire soon after the game was played
  • Competing and submitting the PARTICIPOLOGY case study template to help identify and highlight the lessons learnt from your exercise.

Key Prompts

Design Evaluation

1. Hold regular progress meetings with your team. Take minutes of meetings and document the decision processes and any changes.

2. Test your initial designs with some of your target audience and managers to ensure that there are no unforeseen problems.

3. Ensure that you are clear how the results of the exercise will be collected and used before you play the game.

Play Evaluation

1. Design a simple evaluation questionnaire for participants to complete soon after the exercise.

2. Design a simple questionnaire for the project team to complete shortly after the event; also consider holding a team meeting to capture additional reflections after the event.

Evaluate Outcomes

1. Analyse the questionnaire responses and feedback comments and feedback comments from participants and the project team.

2. Identify any key problems that arose and consider how you are going to deal with them. Log these as part of your formal record.

3. Complete and upload the case study template, which allows you to highlight the lessons learned.