Step 4: Conducting an implementation & process study

Your progress so far

Before beginning this step, you should have already completed:

  • Theory of change
  • Logic model
  • Blueprint

If you have not yet completed these steps, please do so before moving on to implementation & process evaluation.

What is an implementation & process evaluation?

An implementation & process evaluation helps you to determine whether your intervention or service can work. It investigates whether the key components – such as resources, activities and population reach – are practical and achievable.

This kind of evaluation is concerned with the implementation of the intervention or service. It is important to note that this type of evaluation will not tell you whether your programme or service does work – that is the role of an impact evaluation.

Why is it important?

Implementation and process evaluations help to determine whether it is worth investing further in your intervention or service. It is important to know, early on, whether your intervention or service is going to be too difficult to deliver or too expensive, or whether its intended recipients are actually going to attend and remain engaged.

A process evaluation is also useful in ensuring monitoring systems are in place to track participants across the intervention or service, and to help identify and manage risk.

Key principles

Below are the key principles we believe should form the basis for designing your implementation and process evaluation:

  • The evaluation should look at three areas: delivery, participation and cost.
  • Delivery should focus on what is delivered and the factors that affect this delivery.
  • Participation should focus on recruitment, retention and reach. This includes exploring the reasons behind recruitment and retention challenges, levels of user satisfaction with different elements of the programme, and whether the programme is reaching its target population.
  • Evaluating the cost of the intervention or service will help you to determine the unit cost per participant. This will help you to understand how expensive it is compared to other options, and therefore whether it is feasible from a cost point of view.
  • Both quantitative and qualitative measures can and should be used to explore implementation. This will help to identify what is happening (quantitative measures) and why this is happening (qualitative measures). This may include monitoring data on recruitment and retention, in-depth qualitative interviews with practitioners and participants, and comprehensive data on costs.
  • How to
  • 2021
  • EIF
  • new
  • key resource

How to conduct an implemention & process evaluation

A summary guide to help you plan and deliver an implementation & process evaluation for your intervention.

  • Template
  • 2021
  • EIF
  • new

Implementation & process evaluation crosswalk template

Use this template to develop your own evaluation crosswalk.

  • Guide
  • 2019
  • EIF

10 steps for evaluation success

Our 10-step guide to help you progress along the evaluation journey. This landmark guide provides further details on step 4.

  • Guide
  • 2021
  • EIF
  • new

Reducing parental conflict: A practical evaluation guide for local areas

A detailed guide aimed at those evaluating interventions and services in the reducing parental conflict arena, with tips, templates and practice examples.

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