Hi! I’m Priya Small, an independent evaluation consultant/subcontractor. I am also an evaluation writer and blogger for the Free Management Library’s Nonprofit Capacity Building blog, hosted by Authenticity Consulting, Inc.
Rad Resource – Blog: Nonprofit Capacity Building: True to its title, this blog focuses on building capacity for nonprofits! All my posts focus on evaluation, though my co-host blogs on other topics. My objective is to post every 1-2 weeks.
Hot Tips – Here are our favorite evaluation-related posts.
- How to Maximize Funding by Tapping into Hidden Potential: Program Evaluation: Introduces program evaluation and aims to sell its benefits to busy managers and other stakeholders.
- How to Address Fears about Program Evaluation: Empathizes with fears that community leaders, staff or managers may have about evaluation and offers strategies to address these fears.
- Four Differences between Research and Program Evaluation: One of the most read posts on the blog. Uses perspectives from evaluation experts Tom Chapel, Michael Scriven and Daniel Stufflebeam to help answer this classic question that can nag clients and ambitious evaluators alike!
Lessons Learned – why I blog: I started blogging for the following reasons:
- To remain actively engaged in continuing my own learning. In my experience, facilitating others’ learning has been the best way to continue my own education.
- To provide a productive outlet for my passion for evaluation-related writing.
- To enable others to get to know me as an evaluator and to gradually build relationships that produce collective contributions to our field.
As the blog took off, however, I unconsciously became wholly immersed in capacity-building as an end in itself. It so follows then that my blogging has focused on the typical audiences for capacity-building efforts: motivated stakeholders and evaluation clients. While seeking to engage these groups, and despite the serious tone of my blog, I have had fun blogging!
Lessons Learned: Blogging has provided me with a first-hand appreciation for the work of other evaluator-bloggers. I am in the process of re-learning from them the immense value of simplicity in our communications as evaluators. While most of us have known this for years, this can be a hard lesson to translate into practice, especially for those of us who savor the intricacies of evaluation and its accompanying thought-processes.
As a new blogger, I am realizing that maintaining a blog, especially while juggling evaluation-related responsibilities requires a staunch commitment to the cause. Those who motivate me best are my blog readers and others whom we serve by our writing. Considering their needs, concerns and challenges, drives me to pursue excellence.
This winter, we’re running a series highlighting evaluators who blog. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.