My name is Ann Zukoski and I am a Senior Research Associate at Rainbow Research, Inc. in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Founded as a nonprofit organization in 1974, Rainbow Research’s mission is to improve the effectiveness of socially-concerned organizations through capacity building, research, and evaluation. Rainbow Research is known for its focus on using participatory evaluation approaches.
Through my work, I am always looking for new tools and approaches to engage stakeholders throughout the evaluation process. Today, I am sharing two methods that I have found helpful.
Ripple Effect Mapping [REM] is an effective method for having a large group of stakeholders identify the intended and unintended impacts of projects. In REM stakeholders use elements of Appreciative Inquiry, mind mapping, and qualitative data analysis to reflect upon and visually map the intended and unintended changes produced by a complex program or collaboration. It is a powerful technique to document impacts, and engage stakeholders. Rainbow Research is currently collaborating with Scott Chazdon at the University of Minnesota to use this method to evaluate a community health program impact by conducting REM at two points in time —at the beginning and end of a three-year project. Want to learn more? See http://evaluation.umn.edu/wp-content/uploads/Ripple-Effect-Mapping-MESI13-spring-training-march-2013_KA-20130305.pdf
The Art of Hosting (AoH) is a set of facilitation tools, evaluators can use to engage stakeholders and create discussions that count. AoH is a set of methods for working with groups to harness the collective wisdom and self-organizing capacity of groups of any size. The Art of Hosting uses a set of conversational processes to invite people to step in and become fully engaged in the task at hand. This working practice can help groups make decisions, build their capacity and find new ways to respond to opportunities challenges and change. For more information see – http://www.artofhosting.org/what-is-aoh/
Have you used these tools? Let us all know your thoughts!
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