In the GAIA-project we are eager to systematically draw lessons learned from our activities. In order to become better in that we have decided to share our experiences of evaluation tools and methods between the cities. Please go to this page to share your experiences and read about what others do.

Advice for formulating evaluation questions:

  1. Make sure that you know exactly why you want to ask questions. It is crucial to always keep in mind why you are asking questions. This means that you need to make sure that you can use the answers to inform your action planning and later on actions.
  2. Let your understanding of the drivers and barriers shape the questions. It is useful to formulate the questions based on what you already know. I think that you already, based on yours and other experiences, have a number of ideas regarding the drivers and barriers. Use the questions to test your “hypothesis” about possible ways for you to promote sustainable behaviour.
  3. Open questions are useful. Given your purpose I think that you need to ask open questions. This is to get a rich material to help you learn about the drivers and barriers.
  4. Consider to combine the questionnaire with a couple of deep interviews or a focus group discussion. When looking into this kind of complex areas it is useful to combine different tools for data collection. Therefore I think that you can consider if it would be worthwhile to also do deep interviews or organise a focus group discussion (maybe you can use part of the meeting on Friday for a focus group?)
  5. Ask questions on three levels: individual, group and system. As you have seen research tells us that drivers and barriers for sustainable behaviour exist on these three levels. This implies that you need to find out drivers and barriers on the different levels in order to inform your actions for change.

You will find some useful guidelines on how to formulate a questionnaire here:

Advice for evaluating activities for behaviour change:

The following questions are useful when planning to evaluate activities for behaviour change:

  1. Which behaviour(s) would you like to promote?
  2. What is known from earlier practice and research on promoting that particular behaviour(s)?
  3. How can you (and your stakeholder group) learn more about drivers and barriers for the behaviour(s) you like to promote?

The work of the Swedish researcher Ellen Almers is useful for learning more about evaluation of behaviour change activities. She did her dissertation to learn “how young people experience their acquisition and development of different aspects of action competence for sustainable development”. You can find links leading to her research through this link:

This article in the Guardian might also be useful for you: