After Action Review Survey

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Author(s):
Jerome Gallagher
Date Published:
June 16, 2021
Contribution:
Community Contribution
Toolkit(s):

After Action Reviews (AARs) are a best practice for knowledge sharing and learning. As described on the BetterEvaluation website, an After Action Review is a simple tool to facilitate an assessment of organisational performance by bringing together a team to discuss a task, event, or activity, in an open and honest fashion. [1]

 

The After Action Review Survey

These instructions are for administering a simple After Action Review survey. The AAR survey takes the basic questions of an After Action Review and includes them in a Google survey form for AAR participants to complete and submit. As a result, it differs from the typical AAR due to its reliance on individual written responses instead of in-person (or virtual) interactive facilitated discussion. It also differs from a typical survey due to its inclusion of typical AAR questions and mostly narrative response options for these questions.

 

After Action Reviews are generally preferable to an After Action Review survey. The AAR survey is offered here as a substitute for an interactive AAR (when an interactive AAR is not feasible or otherwise advisable) or as a way to complement an interactive AAR. As a complement to an interactive AAR, possible options for the AAR survey include:

  1. Administering the survey prior to the interactive AAR in order to generate content that may be discussed in more depth at the interactive AAR;
  2. Administering the survey after the interactive AAR in order to provide another opportunity to articulate ideas not expressed at the interactive AAR or to express ideas generated after reflecting on the interactive AAR process; or
  3. Administering the survey for individuals who were unable to attend the interactive AAR.

The step-by-step instructions for administering an After Action Review Survey can be found as a reource on this page.

An example After Action Review survey template, created in Google Forms, is available on this page as well.

 

[1]  The summary of After-Action Reviews on the BetterEvaluation website is based on Ramalingam, B. (2006) Tools for Knowledge and Learning, ODI Toolkit. London: ODI. (https://www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opinion-files/188.pdf)

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