Sara Vaca on Creativity and Evaluation Part I

“Creativity is intelligence having fun”, Albert Einstein.

Greetings! I’m Sara Vaca, independent consultant ( and recently appointed Creative Advisor of this blog. To start contributing I thought of writing some posts about how creativity intertwines with evaluation. This is Part I of a two-part post.

Lesson Learned: Evaluation is a rigorous, systematic transdiscipline. However, evaluators can (and already) use creativity to improve their practice in many different moments and levels.

Here are many examples, just digging in our aea365’s archives:

Hot Tips:

1. Advocating for evaluation

Evaluation is not as well-known as it should be for many citizens and politicians. Many of us find ourselves exploring ways to make evaluation more attractive, interesting and remarkable, at least at our local environment. Examples:

Kylie Hutchinson on “O Collective Impact,” an Evaluator’s Carol

Michael Quinn Patton on Using Children’s Stories to Open up Evaluation Dialogues

2. Making stakeholders engage

A demonstrated key factor in an evaluation, our fellows have already encountered this potential problem and shared tips to overcome it:

Alicia McCoy on Using Humor and Creativity to Engage Staff in Evaluation

Marybeth Neal on Using a Wall to Engage Stakeholders

Julie Poncelet, Catherine Borgman-Arboleda, and Jorge Arboleda on Using Participatory Video to Engage Youth in Evaluation in a Creative and Empowering Way

Jeanne Hubelbank on Assessing Audience or Client Knowledge in a Sweet Way

Jessica Foster on Maximizing Survey Response Rates

3. New ways of using data

Evaluation has always relied on data, but other sectors are catching up. Now evaluators have realized that and we are learning new ways in dealing with and using data:

Kimberly Kay Lopez on Getting Creative With the Data You Collect and Use for Evaluations!

Patti Patrizi on Using Existing Data in New Ways

Laura Pryor and Nichole Stewart on Data Science for Evaluators

Cameron Norman on The Evaluator-as-Designer


We would love to hear how YOU are using creativity in your evaluation work.

Please consider contributing your own aea365 post! (

Look for Part II with more examples of aea365 posts on creativity and evaluation! And even more about creativity and evaluation coming your way soon!

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 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

1 thought on “Sara Vaca on Creativity and Evaluation Part I”

  1. Pingback: Sara Vaca on Creativity and Evaluation Part II · AEA365

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