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

Jan/14

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Viengsavanh Sanaphane and Katie Moore on Dynamic Data Presentation and Recording for an Empowerment Evaluation Approach

We are Viengsavanh Sanaphane and Katie Moore from Catholic Relief Services.  We are working on an Inclusive Education (IE) project in Southeast Asia.

Currently, IE efforts are expanding. Experienced partners that have worked on IE for years in the local context were planning to share qualitative data about their project with stakeholders new to the initiative; qualitative data is defined here as previous project stakeholders’ perceptions on the projects’ successes, challenges, and how they overcame challenges during implementation.

We had the question:  How may experienced IE stakeholders’ share their project’s qualitative data with incoming stakeholders in a dynamic and engaging way?  The idea for previous stakeholders to use a play to share their qualitative data and new stakeholders to use reflection journals to record qualitative data instead of using Powerpoint for data sharing and traditional surveys to collect data was conceptualized.

The qualitative data for the data sharing event was presented by experienced stakeholders in the form of a play that they wrote and practiced for the explicit purpose of presenting data dynamically.  This was followed by a Q&A session and one-on-one interviews between former and current project implementers.  Stakeholders new to IE efforts were able to use their journals to record what they determined was relevant qualitative data from the play and discussions needed for implementing IE in their own contexts.  New stakeholders requested keeping their journals as an ongoing tool to refer to while strategically planning how they would implement an IE project.

While not trialed yet, the qualitative data that new project stakeholders recorded as relevant could be implemented in their own project, analyzed by again reading the journals, and analyzed at the project’s end to see the impacts of data sharing events between two similar contexts implementing the same type of project.   Further, stakeholders may refer back to their own work, thus lending to an empowerment and utilization approach whereby stakeholders are able to use locally produced data for local decisional making processes and other personal/professional needs.

Rad Resource:  Use free 2013 templates from Microsoft to create booklets/journals that allow stakeholders to record qualitative data presented in a refreshing way that lends towards an empowerment M&E approach.

Lesson Learned:  For an empowerment approach, have stakeholders design questions to be included in the journals in order to be the “owners” of their own processes and work.  Facilitate a “practice-run” of the book with a small group to identify aspects that needed to be modified prior to using with a large group.

Hot Tip: Data collectors or project implementers may photocopy or take pictures with Smartphones, tablets and/or cameras of the journals, given informed consent/permission of stakeholders, as a way to record the qualitative data for later analysis.

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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