Monitoring and evaluation

Action planning

A starting point in action planning, monitoring and evaluation is to think about the Theory of Change. This is your plan of how a particular intervention will bring about your desired change. It often takes the form of a visual representation of a project’s inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impact, which helps you to see how different aspects of your project fit together to achieve your final goal.

There are many online resources about Theory of Change. We have brought together several from different sectors below. These are not endorsed by the University, but we hope you find them useful.

Theory of Change leader pack (Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in HE, King’s College London)

This pack explains what a Theory of Change (ToC) is and how it is developed. It also contains a ToC template. The materials are written in the context of widening student participation projects, but the principles can be applied to any EDI project.

Setting up a gender equality plan (European Institute for Gender Equality)

This is part of a toolkit developed by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). It provides advice on the details of your action plan, including devising objectives, targets, measures and timelines, as well as guidance about engaging colleagues and stakeholders. This resource includes written guidance, supported by videos and webinars, along with a range of additional tools and resources to explore.

Theory of Change Basics

This short handbook provides an overview of the different components of a Theory of Change and how to put together a ToC in a group setting.

Centre for Theory of Change community

This website provides lots of information about Theory of Change. Although some examples are focused on the international development sector, you should find them very relatable to work on EDI.

Webinar on action planning (Advance HE)

Advance HE recorded and uploaded this webinar on identifying your priorities and creating your action plan for Athena Swan in December 2021.

Webinar on action planning (Equality and Diversity Unit, Oxford)

This webinar was prepared by the EDU’s Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator in mid-2022. It uses the institutional gender equality plan as an example and explains how to use theory of change to inform the writing of your action plans.

How to write a logical framework (Tools4Dev)

A logical framework is a table that lists activities, outputs, outcomes and objectives. It is a tool used with theory of change and looks very similar to an action plan table. This webpage explains the relationships between these elements and should help you understand how elements of action plans are related to each other.

Social and behavioural change guidance (the pages on Create are related to action planning; read also Behavioural Insights and Social Norms if you’re changing a culture) (UNICEF)

This comprehensive yet easy-to-read guide produced by UNICEF is about promoting social and behavioural change, which is very relevant to EDI work. The guidance explains step by step how to plan actions and create strategies.

Monitoring and evaluation

Evaluation guide (Women in STEM, Australia)

This guide produced by Women in STEM is a must-read for anyone conducting an evaluation of their action plan. It contains practical advice, worksheets and templates to evaluate gender equality programmes as well as other programmes related to advancing EDI.

Monitoring progress and evaluating a gender equality plan (European Institute for Gender Equality)

The webpage of the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) provides a step-by-step guide to monitoring progress and evaluating a gender equality plan. You may use it also for other plans related to advancing EDI. It contains videos, templates and links to other resources.

Café culture toolkit (Wellcome) – for organising focus group discussions

This toolkit was developed by the Wellcome Trust to guide discussions between researchers about the challenges they face in research culture, what a better culture might look like, and what solutions they can suggest to change the system. The advice in the toolkit is suitable for organising focus group discussions on other topics too.

Resources from Tools4Dev - a series of short, easy-to-read guides for the international development sector which are also applicable to EDI work:

How to write a monitoring and evaluation framework (includes a template)

How to create a monitoring and evaluation system

How to write awesome survey questions

The Magenta Book – Central Government guidance on evaluation (HM Treasury)

This is a very comprehensive guide produced by the UK government in 2020. There is a broad range of topics related to evaluation, and you may want to jump to the parts that interest you.

Evaluation toolbox

This practical toolkit provides guidance on how to evaluate action plans and activities. It uses concepts like indicators, data sources, logical framework and theory of change.

Evaluation criteria and guidance (OECD)

The OECD criteria are the ‘gold standard’ used in evaluating programmes in development contexts, and learning about them will help you evaluate your programmes and actions as well as write good evaluation reports.

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