F7. Judge the success of CSO engagement separately
One way of ensuring that CSO involvement is valued and explicitly considered by project partners is to separately focus on CSO engagement during post-project evaluation of projects. If CSO involvement is desired, ensure that evaluation criteria reflect this and that evaluators are skilled in assessing these criteria.
Example: Evidence of effective CSO evaluation
CSO engagement can have a positive impact in shaping the direction of the research in so far as CSO involvement is concerned. For instance, one project's mid-term review included a specific focus on CSO engagement, resulting in a recommendation to focus on achieving more societal impact and not just scientific excellence within the project. One such societal impact was the need to include more dialogue with patient groups. Incorporation of CSO engagement within the mid-term evaluation of the project thus meant that this key element was highlighted early enough for the project to amend its practices, leading to greater societal impacts as a result.
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