Evaluating your program: how are you doing?

Evaluation can help you understand the impact your Indigenous Guardian program is having, what you are doing well, and where you could improve. It is also critical to ensure program accountability to your community, organizations, funders, or partners.

Creating systems to track and evaluate your program can provide you with the information you need to:

  • Answer questions about your work.
  • Demonstrate and celebrate your successes.
  • Shape the next phases of work.
  • Complete reporting.
  • Secure ongoing funding. 

Spend time thinking about how you want to track, understand, and communicate your short and longer-term impact. Create both scheduled as well as unplanned opportunities for staff, community, public or partner feedback that will allow you to refine and adjust your program.

The Tipsheet below shares some of the ways that Indigenous Guardian programs are evaluating their work and gathering information about their successes and challenges.

Tipsheet

Ideas for Evaluating Indigenous Guardian Programs

Here are some ways that Indigenous Guardian programs are evaluating their work and gathering information about successes and challenges:

  • Track and document program activities and financials monthly.
  • Track patrol effort by guardians – both hours on patrol and distance travelled.
  • Track public outreach efforts and human interactions on the lands and waters.
  • Track and measure changes in activity related to program (i.e. incidents of illegal hunting).
  • Document, input, store, and develop reports on any monitoring data collected.
  • Survey departments or organizations that intersect with your program as well as community members about their perceptions of the work of the Guardian program. Learn from what folks are telling you – build on your successes and address any shortcomings.
  • Track and report on the program against annual workplans and budgets – use this as a tool to stay on track or refocus efforts.
  • Track and report on program activities against funder expectations and requirements.
Tipsheet

Ideas for Evaluating Indigenous Guardian Programs

Use the evaluation information you gather to adjust and improve the design and delivery of your program. Naturally, you will make changes intuitively as you go along. But it can also be useful to stop and take stock at regular intervals (i.e. bi-annual, annually, post-season, etc.) to make improvements or course correct where needed. Your program plans, however carefully developed, can be revisited and adjusted as important new information is gained.

Three approaches to program evaluation are provided below: Guardian Program EvaluationOutcomes Measurement Methodology, and Indigenous Approaches to Program Evaluation.

Use the evaluation information you gather to adjust and improve the design and delivery of your program. Naturally, you will make changes intuitively as you go along. But it can also be useful to stop and take stock at regular intervals (i.e. bi-annual, annually, post-season, etc.) to make improvements or course correct where needed. Your program plans, however carefully developed, can be revisited and adjusted as important new information is gained. Three approaches to program evaluation are provided below: Guardian Program Evaluation, Outcomes Measurement Methodology, and Indigenous Approaches to Program Evaluation.

"Have a form to capture input or feedback at any point when someone provides advice. Have a form for end of the program. Where and how are you creating opportunities for feedback from field staff and others and how are you integrating that feedback? Know that its okay if you can’t incorporate all that feedback right away, acknowledging it is important even if you can’t deal with it right away. "  

Devlin Fernandes, Ecotrust
Quote

"Have a form to capture input or feedback at any point when someone provides advice..."

Community resource

Guardian Program Evaluation - Ecotrust Canada and Northeast Superior Regional Chiefs' Forum