Monitoring and Evaluation
The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) process helps Wilton Park understand performance and, through an M&E feedback loop, contributes to the continuous development and improvement of our output. Examining the outcomes of events also informs our understanding of Wilton Park’s impact in the world.
M&E is an evolving process. An M&E subcommittee, co chaired by Andy Townend, Non-Executive Director, and the Impact and Evidence Manager, constantly assesses the effectiveness of the feedback loop, detailing how outputs are measured, information is created and insights are used to inform our learning. In 2019, Wilton Park conducted a gap analysis exercise as part of an audit of M&E products, which identified our audiences’ needs and helped us identify new M&E products. M&E work is also evolving as part of a wider transformation programme, contributing to our requirements for a future knowledge information management infrastructure.
The statistical data that we monitor falls into three categories:
- Event data (such as dates, location, policy themes and number of participants) gives us insight into our capacity and delivery of events.
- Participant data (such as gender, sector, age and nationality) helps us analyse the reach of our events and the diversity of those attending them. This data set is important to monitor as we work to ensure the broadest set of participants and speakers, from royalty, diplomats and politicians to business leaders, policy makers and civil society. We aim to bring together unexpected combinations of actors to help enhance dialogue and networking opportunities.
- Event survey data combines quantitative and qualitative feedback from post event surveys to provide insight into our performance. Scores are assessed against performance targets and monitored for trends. Information from the survey is fed back into the organisation through an evaluation loop and contributes to our ongoing learning.
Our electronic post event surveys ask all participants, intellectual partners, funders and speakers to rate each event using five categories: overall impression, objectives, programme design and delivery, impact and facilities and administration. Partners are asked additional questions about their experience of working with us.
Event data, participant demographics and survey responses are combined to produce a Standard Evaluation Report, which assesses our performance, generates actions for relevant departments and is shared with partners.
To track impact, we send a second survey to partners and participants several months after the event. We ask how their attendance has impacted their work, their networks and what has changed as a result of the Wilton Park event. Information from this is used to reveal our impact and bring it to the centre of our story. It also gives us an indication of how impact materialises and how we can maximise opportunities in future events.