M3.07. Conducting evaluation of the mentoring process
1. Data Collection
What You Need to Ask Before Collecting Any Data
There are different methods to collecting data, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages, so before you start the data collection process, it is important that you evaluate these factors, and decide which data collection method is best suited (e.g. within time, and within the limits of your available resources.). One way of assessing these factors, is by the evaluator, along with the relevant stakeholders, determining answering the following questions.
Essential Questions to Ask Before Collecting Data
- What are the evaluation questions? Which methods will help answer them and provide the most reliable and valid data?
- Who is the primary audience for the findings? What types of data will make the most sense and be most useful to them?
- Who is providing the data? How much information is needed for a reliable evaluation result?
- How long is the mentor programme?
- When did the mentoring programme start/what stage of the life-cycle will the evaluation be carried out?
- How much time was budgeted for data collection and analysis?
- When is the right time to collect the data?
- When will the results become available for reporting to the stakeholders?
- What is the evaluation budget? How much of it is for data collection and analysis versus reporting and dissemination of findings?
- Who should collect the data? Does staff have the time and skills? Should an external evaluator be hired?
Once these questions have been answered, you will have a clearer picture of the evaluation process, and how you will collect the information needed. You may choose qualitative methods, or quantitative methods – or, perhaps a combination of both.