Self Evaluation in Practice 

SPEAK (Strategic Planning, Evaluation and Knowledge Networking) is a system which offers organisations and projects the capacity to self-evaluate, leading to a comprehensive understanding of the work, outputs and impacts of the organisation, and the facility to integrate these new understandings with improved strategic and work planning.

The SPEAK concept is implemented through a software package which is installed in each organisation. This system brings together a set of methods and procedures which allows organisations to:

- record and interpret a range of information that can greatly enhance capacity for internal evaluation and review

- capture the organisation's understanding of its operational environment

- capture the work efforts of all involved- staff, volunteers, board members- through multi-user inputs

- automatically produce annual and multi-annual comparative reports

- use the collected information and understanding to improve planning

- share results and learning with other organisations or with other projects in a programme.

The system can operate in a stand alone manner, for example in one project or department. However, a unique feature of SPEAK is that it can operate across multiple Projects within a larger Programme.

The information from each Project can be collated into a national Programme database, creating a database with the potential to understand the full Programme and its impacts, and most importantly to influence the direction of a particular Programme or Government Policy in an area.

Speak Methodology and Screenshots


An overview of Speak's methodological framework. Projects work through an annual cycle whereby they identify challenges, describe their time commitments, examine quantitative and qualitative indicators, before assessing their impact on their community at large. 


A screen shot of the main menu screen when using Speak. These key sections refer to the methodological framework that informs the system. 
A screen shot of a page within the operational environment section. The management team of this particular project are being asked to prioritise the key issues that they regard as facing their community in the current year.

Speak within in Eval4

Speak was tested across a number of European settings during the Eval4 project. The intention of the project partnership was not to create a new version for each setting. Rather the project set out to learn from the specific demands of the evaluation cultural contexts and the needs of the local stakeholders. According to this learning, adaptations and translations were made.

Installers are available for

An application of Speak in a third level degree course in advocacy, delivered partly by distance learning to adult learners.

An adaptation of Speak that focuses on an non-governmental organisation in Ireland that provides a range of supports to community-based projects.

An adaptation of Speak that would allow a transnational research network to use the system to record their outputs and learning as well as relate their resources input to their range of impacts.

An adaptation of Speak developed within the evaluation culture and local setting of a Portuguese locally based non-governmental organisation working with excluded groups.

Speak is a mediated framework for self evaluation that is designed bespoke for each new environment. It is therefore worth noting that after installing the system from these links, some support may well be useful (if not necessary) for further examination or analysis of the system. Please send an email here for further assistance.

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