Monitoring and evaluation can only be useful if findings are shared in a timely, effective manner with those who will use the information.
Different stakeholders may require different reporting formats: for example, findings from monitoring can be conveyed to the campaign management team in regular meetings, with only short written records of key findings and decisions.
More extensive written reports are important for sharing findings with a wider audience. To build a robust body of knowledge, findings from campaign evaluations should be disseminated widely. Reports should include an executive summary and information on the methodology used, and present main findings in an accessible way (including tables, graphs and examples). More creative formats such as short videos can be a powerful means to share findings from the campaign with a wider audience, e.g. via the campaign website.
Findings from campaign evaluations need to be disseminated widely so as to yield learning benefits for fellow campaigners and future campaigns to end violence against women and girls. A dissemination strategy establishes which types of findings from monitoring and, more commonly, evaluation should be shared with external stakeholders, at what moments of the campaign.
The following questions should be considered when planning for dissemination of evaluation findings:
What will the campaign produce that will be useful to others?
Who needs the results you have or can benefit from them?
For example, if your campaign has resulted in a research study on support services for victims of violence in five countries of Southern Europe, then obviously policy makers, NGOs, social services and others not only in those five countries but in other EU countries and indeed in the European institutions, will find them of interest.
There are many possible users of the results of your campaign, for example:
Which of these stakeholders must learn about the campaign results so as to enhance the chances of reaching the campaign goal and the wider vision it is part of (e.g. public decision-makers, women’s groups)? Which stakeholders must the campaign team be accountable to (e.g. campaign management, activists, donors)? Prioritize among potential users of the report, so as to determine the core target audience for your report or reports.
How are the users likely to use the results, and in what form should the results be presented for optimal ease of use?
Design your dissemination strategy in a way that meets the needs of the core audience for your reports. It is not sufficient to post reports on a website – even though it is recommended you post evaluation reports to appropriate knowledge exchange websites such as: the Virtual Knowledge Center to End Violence Against Women and Girls; Siyanda; the Communication Initiative Network and Pambazuka. At the least, reports should be sent to key stakeholders in a targeted manner, via email or post. Organizing an event to disseminate important findings – a meeting with key decision makers, a seminar or a press conference – can enhance the chances findings will be noticed and used.
As a rule, written reports and other presentations should be as crisp and clear as possible (See Research reports). Language may also be an issue – budget for translation if needed.
Dissemination is NOT:
Finally, do not waste time or resources disseminating materials that are not ready to be used by others, e.g. results of pilot projects that are only very provisional, or materials that have not yet been sufficiently tested. In these cases, you may wish to circulate materials with an explanation of their limits and advising that they are for information only and should not be quoted or used without further testing. In fact, you might wish to include a request for feedback on such ‘provisional’ materials, so that you can develop them further. It might be helpful to disseminate to a very restricted list of ‘testers’.
(Adapted from Planning Dissemination, European Commission Daphne Toolkit)
Guidance: Quality Criteria for Evaluation Reports (UNIFEM, 2009). Available in English.
Guidance Note on Developing an Evaluation Dissemination Strategy (UNIFEM, 2009). Available in English.