AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

Jan/14

17

Dayna Albert and Rochelle Zorzi on Evaluations that Make a Difference: Stories from Around the World

We are Dayna Albert (Project Coordinator) and Rochelle Zorzi (Editorial Board Co-chair) of the Evaluation Stories Project, an EvalPartners Innovation Challenge recipient. Our project will soon launch an International Call for Evaluation Stories. The purpose is to:

  • Identify and share stories of evaluations that have made a difference
  • Increase the demand for and use of evaluation

Minimal literature exists on the benefits or impacts of evaluation use, particularly from the perspective of evaluation users. Furthermore, most evaluation literature is very academic. Our project will employ a story-telling format in order to better communicate the benefits of evaluation use to evaluation users.

As an international project, one of our challenges is to reach a multilingual audience despite limited translation resources. A second challenge is to explain what we mean by evaluation impact – a concept that turns evaluative thinking on its head and tends to be misconstrued.

Lessons Learned: Anticipate that people may have difficulty ‘getting’ a new concept. Words alone can be inadequate and ambiguous.

Use story to explain new concepts. Here is a story that Chris Lysy helped us develop to explain the concept of evaluation impacts.

(Click here to see the video!)image005

 

Hot Tip:

-        Follow-up with clients after an evaluation to reflect on and track evaluation impacts.

-        Act now! The Call for Evaluation Stories is a great opportunity to reconnect with a client and explore their interest in participating in the Call for Evaluation Stories

 

Rad Resource:

-        To reach a multilingual online audience, add Google’s Website Translate plug-in to your website. Albeit imperfect, it provides a free and virtually instantaneous website translation.

-        To translate a blog, paste the following code into a text widget. Insert your blog’s URL where indicated. The code is written for English (en) to French (fr) translation. For English to Spanish translation, replace ‘fr’ with ‘sp’ and ‘français’ with ‘español’.

<a href=”//translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2FyourblogURL&amp;hl=fr&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;sl=en&amp;tl=fr”” title=””français“”><img src=”http://yourblogURL /2010/02/icons-flag-gb.png” alt=”français” /></a>

Get Involved:

Rad Resources: See these posts for additional information on evaluation stories:

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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2 comments

  • Keith Bernados · September 10, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    You have hit on an important issue, for the evaluation being done is any of it actually being used? If it is used is it only considered useful to a client if it just reinforces a prior held opinion or position? Is it necessary to evaluate the evaluations?

    That said I agree with your idea of using stories to make an evaluation more understandable to the client. I have read a couple of articles in the popular press that repeat the concept that humans are story telling creatures, that we create narratives to understand and manage the outside world. Evidence that this is true, I believe is visible in presidential politcs where the politician that presents voters with the most appealing story/narrative will win the white House.

    Reply

  • Pablo Rodriguez-Bilella · January 17, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Great post, Dayna and Rochelle! I would like to add that we are also in Twitter (@EvalStories), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/evalstories), and Google Plus (http://goo.gl/RQ5Op0).

    Reply

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