Facet 7: Share findings, issues & challenges
Share findings & issues regarding future implementation; including challenges & things that have not worked
The sector could do more to work together in targeting a broader audience and ensuring messages are consistent and constant. The sector will not see the benefits of their interventions for 5-10 years, and then it will be hard to attribute to any one programme (if we all work independently).
Work undertaken in a process and outcome/impact evaluation should lead to a sound understanding of the intervention; the effects it has had and not had, what has worked well (ideally knowing why and how), and what elements have not proved successful in achieving specified goals. While it is wonderful to find that your intervention has been successful, it is rare for one, particularly in the early stages, to be wholly successful. A great deal of time, energy, resources, funds and passion are invested in developing an intervention. Therefore, it is difficult to find out, and also admit, that it is not working well, especially when external funding has been secured, or is required for further work. However, we only ever learn through things not working as planned, and it is important that within this field, that there is recognition of the challenges and openness about failures as well as successes. This is the only way that AWE can prosper in the future. This is an issue for academic research too, where papers are only submitted for publication when they find positive results. We need to learn from the negative and null results too.
It is important that the findings/results are presented clearly; some advice on how to present data is provided in the online toolkit. To help share elements of work that have been successful and challenging, with a view to making significant differences to children, animals, the environment and society, that professionals feel is possible through AWE, it is useful to draw together all the learning from the process of designing, delivering and evaluating. The template below provides a focus for final reflections.
- What we expected to do
- What we actually did
- What difference we actually made
- Challenges and changes
- Learning for the future
Opportunities to share these findings and reflections with the broader community should be sought. This will help others to focus on the key issues and evaluate their own practices in a similar manner. It is also useful to situate any discussion about moving forward in the context of new developments in scientific understanding of animal cognition, behaviour and sentience, that should feed into intervention programmes. There may also be developments within education that future interventions could link with successfully.