Strategic communication

Selecting evaluation methods

In most cases, using multiple methods is best. Available resources and time often restrict your choice. Evaluation does not have to be expensive. Frogleaps Strategic change model focuses on realizing a first doable sub goal, a small first step. A costly complicated Evaluation study usually does not match this approach. Examples of methods are:

  • Observing
  • Interviewing
  • Surveying
  • Storytelling
  • Focus groups
  • Measuring media attention

Our case of Simona: Evaluating by observing, photographing and interviewing

Simona and her team observed visitors’ behavior during prior 1st of May festivities. And of course they observed it again when they launched the new event management.

She witnessed a whole new experience for all stakeholders. Families come with their kids. They play and have fun. There is no danger of cars and motorbikes. The parking, bus and facilities for drinks and camping work out great. There are no complaints.

Interviews confirm that families actually even like it better than the years before. Motor bikes are absent. It is much safer for children. There is less abuse of alcohol. They like the new area for camping and games. There is a lot of interest of visitors in the biodiversity of the meadows. A sense of pride develops for the natural heritage of the Pulsatilla on ‘their’ meadow.


Observing is a very direct method: go into the field and observe the behavior of your target audiences prior, during and after project Execution. During the Designing phase you identified indicators for success. For instance: the number of visitors who read the new signs, the number of people who change behavior.

You can also observe non-verbal signals: are the people happy, amused or irritated?

Photographing can be part of this method. This illustrates results for funders and partners as well: a powerful means to showcase your project.


Interviewing target audiences gives you insight in changes in knowledge and attitudes. For behavior, observing is more powerful. People don’t always tell the truth: social desirability influences their answers.


Designing good questionnaires is an art and requires skill. Samples of your target audiences fill in the questionnaire so you can identify changes in knowledge and attitudes. Asking directly for suggestions how to improve, also provides input for your next steps.


Stories about positive change are a powerful means to show the results of your project. Using stories highlights why your project makes a significant difference.

Focus groups

Focus groups are a good tool for ‘listening’ to target audiences and stakeholders: how did they experience your project? Input from focus groups help you improve planning and design of your project and follow up actions.

Measuring media attention

You can measure the frequency and tone of voice of articles about your project. When you know how your target audiences use these media, you can calculate the reach of your messages.