For excellent advice on developing research impact in general, including the role of evidence, we recommend this book:
- The Research Impact Handbook, by Professor Mark Reed. You can access one of the chapters from this book, which focuses on Tracking, evaluating and evidencing impact .
A set of other readings related to the rationale for evaluation and evaluation design can be found at the links below:
- Jensen, E. (2019). Why impact evaluation matters in science communication: Or, advancing the science of science communication. In Science Communication in South Africa (pp. 213-228). Cape Town: African Minds Publishing.
- To get an idea of how evaluation can be integrated into professional public engagement practice, you can read some of the practitioner case studies on the Practical Evaluation website. This website contains practically-oriented resources for public engagement evaluation developed through a UK-funded innovation project that Dr. Eric Jensen developed with Dr. Kate Noble at the University of Cambridge Museums (academic partner on the project: University of Warwick; practice partners: National Gallery and the University of Cambridge Museums).
- CDC’s/OSH/DNPAO. (2011). Developing an Effective Evaluation Plan. Setting the course for effective program evaluation . Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity.
- Jensen, E. (2015). Evaluating impact and quality of experience in the 21st century: using technology to narrow the gap between science communication research and practiceJournal of Science Communication, 14(03), 1–9.
- Jensen, E., & Laurie, C. (2016). . In Doing Real Research. A Practical Guide to Social Research (pp. 4–28). London: Sage Publications Ltd.
- NWS. (2004). Does Your Project Make a Difference?Sydney: Department of Environment and Conservation.
- Jensen, E. (2015). Highlighting the value of impact evaluation: Enhancing informal science learning and public engagement theory and practice. Journal of Science Communication, 14(03), 1–14. Retrieved from the Journal of Science Communication.
In this podcast Dr. Jensen and Prof. Gerber deliver an ‘audiobook’ version of their article on evidence-based science communication, describing an approach to public engagement that is rooted in effective evaluation:
A further discussion about the implications of an ‘evidence-based’ approach to public engagement can be found at this website: sciencecomm.science. This website about evidence-based science communication helps articulate the rationale for why evaluation matters.
If you would like to hear Dr. Jensen’s thoughts on public engagement itself prior to moving on with the course content on public engagement evaluation, you can listen to the following optional presentation. There is a short introduction in Spanish and the rest of the presentation is in English.
If you want to learn more about developing effective evaluation, watch this video in which Roger Martin, former dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, discusses the need of going outside an organization’s comfort zone and escaping the common traps of strategic planning.