Methodology for evaluating DOC’s public awareness activities

These guidelines provide a methodology for New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) conservancy staff to evaluate public awareness activities in order to improve the effectiveness of public awareness events in achieving conservation advocacy. The first of four phases encourages a systematic approach to choosing the most appropriate activities in the months prior to the event. DOC’s public awareness goals and results focus this decision making. Preparation of an evaluation strategy for each activity is then undertaken alongside other planning for the event. Performance indicators are selected and a data collection approach is designed that is in accordance with the activity and resources that are likely to be available. Data collection takes place while activities are actually happening or immediately after. Techniques discussed include personal interviews, focus groups and self-administered questionnaires. Document analysis and informal feedback by way of letters and phone calls can enhance the data available. The final stage involves analysis of and reporting on the achievements of each activity after the event. The effectiveness of the overall event is assessed in terms the extent to which DOC’s public awareness goals have been achieved. This phase also focuses on identifying where improvements can be made when planning for future events.

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