Foundations of Evaluation



Organised by:

Social Research Association


Sally Cupitt


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Lindsay Adams
T: 0204 551 3864

video conference logo

Venue: Online


This live online course gives an introduction to evaluation options and practice. (Foundation Level)  * Price:  £165 for SRA members, £220 for non-members.  It runs in one day and uses Zoom software *

"A very good introduction to the field, which will help new entrants and older practitioners to consider the question "I don't know what I don't know"?"

Course outline

Over the years the discipline of evaluation has evolved and developed and is applied to many policies and practices. It forms the core of policy, accountability and strategic planning processes of many different types of organisations, and informs evidence-based decision making about public and grant funded programmes and initiatives. Much is expected of evaluation in the public, private and voluntary sectors and people responsible for commissioning, conducting and using evaluation are increasingly required to have a broad understanding of the evaluation types, skills and competencies. The course provides an introduction to this wide field and will be suitable for those new to evaluation and others who may have some experience but are looking to widen their knowledge of evaluation options and practice.

*For those with more experience or needing more specialist methods, SRA also offers courses in Impact Evaluation (Advanced), Theory-based Evaluation (Advanced) and Research and Evaluation Project Management (Introductory).


By the end of the workshop, participants will:

Understand the distinctive role of evaluation in the effective use of resources and decision-making
Be aware of the key ideas, different types of evaluation and their uses in meeting different needs
Understand the robust goal and objective setting for setting firm foundations of evaluation
Be able to understand how to make appropriate choices to meet those expectations and how to meet evidence needs through both quantitative and qualitative methods
Be aware of how to address ethical consideration in evaluation design
Understand how to make best use of evaluation findings.


The course will cover:

What is evaluation and why do we do it?
An introduction to a range of types of evaluation
How to manage objective settings for realistic expectations of evaluation
The use of structured approaches to defining and meeting evaluation information and analysis needs
Scoping and managing ethical considerations in evaluation Communicating evaluation findings.

Who will benefit?

This course is run as a real-time online tutored course. It combines ‘tutor-led’ sessions, illustrations and case studies and practical (breakout group) exercises, and series of online supporting resources. It is aimed at those with at least a basic understanding of social research methods but who may be new to specifying, conducting or using evaluation. It will also be of value to those with some experience of evaluation but who have not been formally trained in methods and who are looking to widen their knowledge of this wide field.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, participants will achieve a broad understanding of the importance of evaluation and be able to make informed decisions about which types of evaluation are best applied to different types of programmes, projects and activities. They will gain practical experience of tasks relevant to scoping, designing and managing the evaluation process, as well as an understanding of some of the key challenges evaluators face in managing expectations and in ‘doing more for less’.

Course tutor

Sally Cupitt started working as an evaluator in 1999. Now freelance, she previously ran evaluation and impact consultancy teams at NCVO and Charities Evaluation Services. Sally has carried out a wide range of external evaluations and helped hundreds of organisations self-evaluate, through training or consultancy support. She has helped organisations develop theories of change, and used these as the framework for evaluation plans and processes.

Sally has made a significant contribution to the practice of evaluation in the UK voluntary sector, writing some of the first widely-used publications in the field. She developed CES’ outcomes-focused training and co-designed and co-delivered the pioneering, award-winning National Outcomes Programme (2004-11), cascading outcomes training through England. She has worked on a number of cross-sectoral initiatives to improve evaluation skills in the UK, including Measuring Social Value, the Impact Management Programme and Inspiring Impact.


£200.00 SRA members pay £165.00

Website and registration:




Evaluation Research

Related publications and presentations:

Evaluation Research

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