Increasingly, organisations are expected to demonstrate, and document, the differences their services are making for children, families and communities (McCoy, Rose, & Connolly, 2013; 2014). Evaluation and research helps to respond to this demand. Evidence gained through these activities helps to identify whether programs have achieved what was intended and enables organisations to be transparent and accountable.
To develop effective evaluation and research functions, organisations needs a strong culture of evaluation and research; a culture in which evidence is deliberately sought in order to better implement and deliver programs. Without such a culture any efforts to build effective evaluation and research activities will be undermined (Mayne, 2010).
This paper is a guide to developing a culture of evaluation and research. It reviews what an evaluation and research culture is, and explores the actions that can be taken to develop and sustain a culture of evaluation and research.