My name is Amy A. Germuth, and I am Founder and President of EvalWorks, LLC in Durham, NC and blog at EvalThoughts.com. Over the last year I have worked improving my reporting of findings to better meet my client’s needs and have a few great resources to help you do the same.
Rad Resource: “Unlearning Some of our Social Scientist Habits” by Jane Davidson (independent consultant and evaluator extraordinaire, as well as AEA member and TIG leader). She added some additional thoughts to this work and presented them at AEA’s 2009 annual conference in Orlando. Her PowerPoint slides for this presentation can be found at: http://bit.ly/7RcDso.
Frankly, I think this great article has been overlooked for its valuable contributions. Among other great advice for evaluators (including models or theories but not using them evaluatively and leaping to measurement too quickly), she addresses these common pitfalls when reporting evaluation findings: (1) not answering (and in some cases not even identifying!) the evaluation questions that guided the methodology, (2) reporting results separately by data type or source, and (3) ordering evaluation report sections like a Master’s thesis. This entertaining article and the additional PowerPoint slides really make a case for using the questions that guide the evaluation to guide the report as well.
Read Resource: Data visualization can help make reporting more accessible and visually captivating. There is a great post on “What is data visualization?” and many posts from other aea365 authors.
Rad Resource: Why assume all findings have to be reported as a paper? Try reporting using PowerPoint and heed the advice Garr Reynold’s provides in his great book “Presentation Zen Design” to ensure that you do not subject your clients to DBP (death by PowerPoint).
This post is a modified version of a previously published aea365 post in an occasional series, “Best of aea365.” 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.