Follow-Up and Evaluation
The central activities undertaken during this phase – Follow-up and evaluation of the MHP project - provide the basis for reviewing the total value of the project and for making recommendations for changes in the future.
Evaluating a MHP programme can be a complex task. It is often the case that many different activities are run during these programmes and it may be impossible to get a clear picture of how each action contributed to the overall effect of the MHP programme. It is however, possible to say something about the overall effects of the programme and it is important that at least a basic evaluation is carried out to find out what effects the MHP project has had in the setting. If resources permit (this may require expert assistance), additional analyses which provide more in-depth information should be undertaken.
Evaluation of the MHP project is important to determine whether the project fulfilled its aims. Undertaking an evaluation enables you to assess the costs and benefits of the project in terms of both hard and soft measures. Both qualitative (interviews, discussions) and quantitative (statistics) data are useful in this analysis. The evaluation results form the basis for revising future MHP plans and activities.
There are two distinct but related activities needed for this phase – monitoring of the MHP programme and assessment of the information collected during the monitoring activities. A third activity also needs to take place – ensuring continuous progress, which is based on the outputs of the assessment activities.
The aims of this phase of the process are:
- To see if the objectives of the programme are met
- To assess the effectiveness of the programme, activities, costs and benefits
- To see if the process of implementing MHP has worked
- To provide feedback to participants, management and project team
- To gather information to inform future activities
Types of Tools Relevant for this Phase
Follow-up tools assist the person responsible for Mental Health Promotion to adapt what is currently in place to search for more effective and efficient ways to achieve better results. Thus, many of the tools will be about:
- Review and monitoring
- Continuous improvement
- Policy development as a result of intervention.
PLEASE NOTE: There is an overlap between the tools that are useful in needs analysis and planning and those that can be used for feedback and follow up.
What Needs to be Done and How to Do It
There are three principal activities during this phase. It is not always possible or feasible to carry out a full-scale evaluation. However, it is very important that even a basic evaluation is carried out so that some judgement can be made on the value of the MHP project as a whole.