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



Bloggers Series: Cindy Banyai on the Participatory Evaluation Forum

I’m Cindy Banyai, Executive Director of the Refocus Institute, an international consortium offering training and specialists in innovative participatory evaluation practices. I write our blog, the Participatory Evaluation Forum (and update our Facebook and Twitter pages), to demonstrate our activities, share information, and promote the use and acceptance of participatory action research in evaluation.

Rad Resource –Participatory Evaluation Forum: I began blogging on the Participatory Evaluation Forum before heading to my first AEA conference in 2010 to gain recognition for Refocus in the evaluation world. I began with an ambitious plan of blogging every day, which quickly devolved into every other day and now to a comfortable 1 to 2 times a week. I write about projects Refocus is involved with, reflections on evaluation and being an independent consultant, as well as responses to current events and articles through the lens of participatory practices.

Hot Tips – Here are the top 3 posts according to views, all of which were viewed dramatically more than average.

  • December 9, 2010 – Evaluation terminology and its vexes. This blog piggybacked off one written by Jara Dean-Coffey on her blog To What End?
  • March 17, 2011 – Post-disaster planning and management. I wrote this blog shortly after the tsunami in Japan in response to an article written about rebuilding after the disaster. I was critical of the article and suggested there should be a heavy emphasis on community-based planning in the reconstruction, which actually opened a dialogue with the article’s writers via the comments section.
  • April 3, 2011 – Patton’s Qualitative Evaluation & Research Methods. I originally wrote this brief summary of Patton’s book for an article on I then re-posted it and reaped the benefits of their SEO titling.

Hot Tips

  • Update your FeedBurner if you change your url – I forgot to do this and missed out on sharing through Eval Central until I fixed it just recently.
  • Repurpose content –Re-post blogs you wrote earlier or pieces for another purpose (i.e. evaluation executive summary, journal article). This saves times and helps spread your message to those who may have missed it the first time.
  • Add links – Putting in hyperlinks to popular sites and linking to your previously written blogs helps boost your blog’s online visibility.
  • Share – Put links to your blog on your social media pages and reference it when you join in relevant conversations on LinkedIn. The more you put it out there, the more likely someone will read it!

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 aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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