The BIG picture story behind collecting evidence
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Reading time: Approx 35 minutes plus Self Study Question time
The BIG Picture Introduction
Without google maps, where would I know where I am? I might suspect that I am close to the sea by the smell, in the city from my view of concrete walls, and near lunchtime by the growl in my stomach. But how do I know if I am close to where I want to be? Well that depends upon where it is that you want to be…and when you want to be there.
Whether having a day out, running an organisation, or delivering peer support programs, ensuring success has a lot to do with knowing where you want to be. Knowing if you are getting close means you need to know where you are and if you are heading in what you consider to be the right direction.
The value of gathering evidence is that it will give you answers to questions such as:
- Where am I?
- Am I doing things well?
- What isn’t working?
- Are my peer support group members getting what they hoped for?
- What can I do better?
- Is this working?
- Am I close to where I want to be?
The benefits gained by working your way through the process of collecting feedback and other evidence is not only the information you collect. The journey of making decisions about gathering evidence will give you time to consider the answers to important questions for your peer support program. These questions could include:
- Why am I doing this?
- What do I want to do well?
- What is it that my peer support group members want?
- What is it that we think is important?
Obviously, every peer support organisation will be wanting to build the individual capacity of their peer members via the peer programs they offer. But there are different ways to do this, and there are a lot of successful program methods and approaches. The people you would like to become involved with your peer support program could be as diverse as the variations existing within and between disabilities. Your peer support program needs to consider:
- How do you know what you are doing is the best approach?
- How do you consider all the different stakeholders involved in the peer programs you deliver?
The aim of this module in the learning package is to enable you to think about how the process of gathering evidence can guide your peer support program and help you stay on track. Remember, your peer program’s ‘track’ is likely to be unique. Therefore, your way of gathering evidence should also be tailored to reflect this. Your peer support programs can extract benefits from travelling this journey and arriving at the ‘evidence’ destination. This package hopes to support you through these processes.
Capsule: The process of gathering evidence, as well as the evidence itself, will help your peer support organisation to better understand where it is currently, and where it is that you want to be.
SELF STUDY Q3.1
What are the key ways in which gathering evidence could help your peer support organisation?
SELF STUDY Q3.2
Who will you be working through this learning package with? Are there key team members who you could travel this journey with?