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During this phase, it is important to:

  • Identify stakeholders and build trusting relationships. Establishing working norms and strong relationships will build a strong foundation for the work ahead. Made up of key stakeholders, a steering committee will help guide the evaluation. The steering committee is separate from the 'doers' (i.e., the individual or team who carries out the evaluation).

  • Identify assumptions about the evaluation and clarify roles and responsibilities.

  • Highlight the theory of change. This might include developing, refining or revising a program or organization logic model.

  • Identify the purpose of the evaluation. This is a central step that is often overlooked.

Phase 1 in Community-Based Evaluation lays the foundation for your evaluation. This necessary phase creates a strong foundation for the evaluation design, and the relationships between team members, stakeholders, and communities.​

#1 Laying the foundation highlighted in the four phase circular diagram

Community-Based Evaluation:  Laying the Foundation

Who are your stakeholders? People who have direct experience living with the issue (e.g. program participants). People who impact the lives of those who live with the issue (e.g. program providers). And people who have the power and resources to make lasting change to improve people's lives (e.g. policy makers).

During this phase, you may want to organize a steering committee to guide your evaluation. Your steering committee is made up of stakeholders connected to the issue, program, or organization being evaluated. Stakeholders may include people with lived experience (i.e., community members or program participants); influencers (i.e., people who impact the lives of those who live with the issue such as program providers); and/or sustainers (i.e., people who have the power and resources to make changes such as policy makers). Sometimes people occupy multiple rings of the circle. 


Consider inviting individuals impacted by, or who have influence on the SDGs you are working towards. 

To learn more, watch our webinar, "Laying the Foundation in Community-Based Evaluation: Evaluating SDGs for Local Impact." Download webinar 2 slides here and access a copy of our workbook here.

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