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Embedded from the outset, evaluation offers the mechanism to reflect on progress, learn from practice and measure outcomes.

As community engagement is at the centre of the Bottom-Up Infrastructure (BUI) approach, ensuring it is a meaningful and successful element of the project is essential.

Evaluation is not simply a feedback form for participants once delivery is complete. It is a continual process taking many forms and should instead be planned in from the project’s inception.

Effective evaluation provides a mechanism to reflect on progress and iterate the approach taken as the project develops. It also provides evidence of a project’s impact and how this was achieved, and helps identify key learning from practice that can be scaled up and shared.

Best practice in co-design evaluation focuses on 5 key areas of participation:

  • equality of participation
  • quality of participation
  • effectiveness of procedures
  • participant/ stakeholder satisfaction
  • value persistence.

The Bottom-Up Infrastructure approach has drawn from a range of evaluation literature to develop a method and tools that are relevant and appropriate for a range of community based co-design projects. Some examples are shared in the tools section of the website, and evaluation is threaded through all of the stages of co-design discussed in the BUI methods.