Evaluating your project

One of the strengths of Victoria's Road Safety Strategy is the emphasis placed on evaluating programs to assess their success and to improve future programs. In your application, you need to state how you will evaluate your road safety project. 

Please note that there are new guidelines pertaining to the reporting of some projects. These guidelines can be viewed on the Application and Closing Dates page.

What is evaluation? 

Evaluation is an ongoing process, which should begin as soon as you identify your road safety issue. Evaluation continues throughout your project and ends after it finishes. By evaluating each step you will find and solve any problems early, identify unexpected benefits or problems, save resources and improve your chance of success.

Why should you evaluate your road safety project?

Good evaluation helps to:

  • assess the suitability of resources
  • assess the feasibility of the plan
  • identify any possible problems
  • monitor progress and results
  • improve service
  • gather data and information for the future
  • assess the activity’s effectiveness for the target group, funding sources, the general public, and those wishing to carry out similar activities
  • identify exposure, community involvement, outputs and outcomes.

Evaluation and project planning

For your activity to succeed, it's important to ask yourself these questions during the project planning process:

  • What resources do we have available to evaluate our road safety activity?
  • What are the objectives of the evaluation?
  • What type of information is going to be collected?
  • How will we collect the information?
  • Who is going to collect the information?
  • Who will we collect the information from?
  • How will we analyse the evaluation findings?
  • Who will write the final report?

Different types of evaluation

There are different approaches to evaluating road safety programs. Your project may include more than one.
Process evaluation. Here you assess how your project is progressing and what you must do to keep it moving ahead. You should be comparing your progress with your timeline and project plan and recording how the project is going. Whenever you make changes to the timeline or project plan, include those changes in your ongoing process evaluation. With each new task, consider what needs to be done to ensure it can be completed successfully. Your final report should include some information about the outcomes of the process evaluation:

  • Did you keep to the timeline and plan, or did you have to make changes?
  • If you had to make changes, what were they and how successful were they at helping you meet your objectives?
  • If your project kept to the timeline and plan, what were some of the factors that helped you achieve this? These success stories can be useful for other groups wanting to implement similar programs.

Impact evaluation. Here you assess the immediate effects of an activity to determine whether your target group is aware of the program, and whether the project activities are affecting the target group's awareness of the road safety issue you are trying to address. This type of evaluation generally involves collecting information directly from members of the target group and often focuses on how well a program is meeting its objectives. It can help to highlight activity areas that are more or less effective than others.

Outcome evaluation. Here you assess whether your project has achieved its goal. This is much more challenging than other evaluations and is often not appropriate for a small community based program. An outcome evaluation would collect information about the project's effect on safety measures, such as crash risk. These evaluations are expensive and require long time frames and special evaluation expertise. The TAC would not generally expect grant recipients to undertake an outcome evaluation.

Including your evaluation in the final report

You must provide a final report to the TAC that includes some information about how you evaluated your project and the results of that evaluation. The report will only be a few pages long, but you will need to collect and record information for the evaluation throughout the project.

  • If you include a process evaluation – make sure you keep records of your progress compared to the timeline and, if you had to deal with unexpected problems or delays, any changes made to the timeline. Also, keep records of the challenges you had to deal with through the project, and how you and your program group dealt with them.
  • If you include an impact evaluation – you must plan to collect information from members of the target group. This might mean developing and using a short survey, or taking any available opportunities to talk to members of the target group about the program to gauge their awareness of it and its objectives. However you approach an impact evaluation, you should keep good records so you can present the information in your report.