Definition – Evaluation is the systematic and objective assessment of an ongoing or completed plan, policy or measure, its preparation, implementation and results. The aim of evaluation is to determine the relevance and fulfilment of specified objectives and targets, i.e. evaluation reveals how well a plan, policy or measure has performed. Monitoring and evaluation activities are important in the planning and implementation process to provide credible and useful information, enabling the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision-making process.
Relevance to SUMP – In the context of SUMP development and implementation, the term evaluation is used in reference to both “ex-ante” evaluation and “ex-post” evaluation.
“Ex-ante” is a phrase meaning “before the event” and therefore the purpose of ex-ante evaluation is to improve the quality of the SUMP development process, the proposals of the plan and their implementation. Undertaking appraisal of future mobility scenarios and measures is a form of ex-ante evaluation.
The term evaluation is most commonly used to refer “ex-post” (“after the event”) evaluation processes carried out during and after the implementation of a SUMP or individual measure. Ex-post evaluation is used to assess whether the SUMP or measure has been effective and represents value for money, or whether it needs modification or enhancement. Regular monitoring and evaluation are a main characteristic of the SUMP approach to mobility planning. Key activities in this respect are setting priorities and measurable targets, incorporating monitoring and assessment into the plan, checking progress towards achievement of the objectives and reviewing achievements to understand areas of success and failure.
Source: ITS Leeds KonSULT; OECD, 2014; www.socialresearchmethods.net