Project Impacts on Community Cohesion – The Importance of Strategic Evaluation

By | June 6, 2023

Before we discuss furthermore about strategic evaluation, pick your purpose for evaluation first: is it for approaches, methods, designs or purposes? There are a number of ways to conceptualize an evaluation and because of this, the development of diversity when it comes to such term has become rampant. People often get confused of what method to use, mainly because they don’t know what their purpose is in the first place. Our focus will be all about strategic evaluation so that you will be able to decide if this is the method of evaluation that suits you.

It is important for a company or organization to conduct a strategic evaluation in order to analyze if their strategies will be helpful and useful when it comes to their long term plans. What separates this type of evaluation process from the others is because of the fact that it emphasizes that evaluation designs have to be based on the value of information. Strategic evaluation basically focuses on conceptualizing strategies that will help in solving social problems. This type of evaluation is not concerned when it comes to delivery and implementation but rather focuses on answering these two main questions:

-Are the projects and activities relevant to your desired outcome?

-In terms of community cohesion, what are the possible effects of your project?

Basically, a strategic evaluation has to be undertaken twice. The initial evaluation is done before the project starts and once it has been recognized in the outset, the second evaluation follows once the project has officially started rendering goods and services. Strategic evaluation should be done twice in order for project managers and business owners to know if there are some changes that have to be made or if there are other supplemental factors that need to be added. It is crucial to know the state of the project and the strategy plans because it will help the management to determine the potential missing links between the causal chain (strategic plans, outputs and outcomes) and also to address the potential threats of project on the community.

There are five elements that compose a strategic evaluation that should be understood in order to fully utilize the method to its optimum support:

1. Project Inputs – This pertains to the resources, revenues and investments that have been poured or needed for the project.

2. Project Activities – This answers the question of what the project does to its resources and revenues such as goods and service delivery not only to their clients but to the community overall.

3. Project Outputs – This is all about the immediate result of the project, while;

4. Project Outcomes – Pertains to the long term effect of the project.

5. Project Impacts on Community Cohesion – This evaluates the overall impact of the project on the community, whether positive or negative.

Take note that strategic evaluation should not only be undertaken if you are starting a project, however. It is also important to conduct an evaluation even if you are an already existing enterprise because it may influence future practice. Since needs of the clients and customers often change, it is crucial to review and evaluate strategies in order to divert a project’s focus and shift its perspectives.