Hi. I am David Fetterman, president and CEO of Fetterman & Associates, an international evaluation consulting firm. I have been at Stanford University for 25 years, serving on the faculty and in administration. Concurrently, I am a professor of education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and co-director of the Arkansas Evaluation Center. I am a past-president of the American Evaluation Association and serve as co-chair of the Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation TIG (also accessible here) with Liliana Rodriguez-Campos.
I started on the Internet around 1982 with Bitnet, moved to WWW, and here I am today with you. I blog in order to give voice to empowerment evaluators around the world and record the development of my projects. (The latter is particularly helpful at the end of the year when you are trying to construct the annual report.)
Rad Resource – Empowerment Evaluation Blog. The empowerment evaluation blog describes current projects and announces important empowerment evaluation articles, books, and webinars.
Hot tips – favorite posts: Posts include project descriptions, software, and free manuals used to conduct an empowerment evaluation. My favorite posts are:
- 9/16/2011 – Tsholofelo Community Empowerment Evaluation Work. This highlights the work of Bishop Kevin Dowling, Brother Joe, Sister Georgina, and Dr. Ray Basson in South African squatter settlements
- 4/20/2011 – UNICEF and Empowerment Evaluation: I presented an empowerment evaluation webinar as part of UNICEF’s Equity-focused Evaluation Series
- 10/20/2010 – Canadian Empowerment Evaluation: Malton Community Project. Their work, under the supervision of Dr. Paul Favaro, has been transformative, contributing to collective learning, democratic participation, and action.
- 9/10/2009 – Empowerment Evaluation Debate. This is a debate between Michael Scriven, Michael Patton, and me. It provides conceptual and methodological clarity about empowerment evaluations.
Lessons Learned: I maintain many projects blogs, such as our tobacco prevention in communities of color blog, used to tell the community’s evaluation story. In addition to my professional blogs, I maintain a family blog. The tone and focus of a blog depends on its purpose.
I have learned many things about blogging.
First, you are responsible for keeping it alive, inviting colleagues, and providing useful information to keep people coming back. You need to continually breath life into them.
Second, you have to monitor posts to minimize the clutter of irrelevant, irreverent, and irritating advertisers. Blogs open to the public invite all sorts of noise. Blogs by invitation restrict posting to a designated group.
Third, you build a world-wide network of colleagues in an amazingly short period of time, often connecting folks working in the same area but living thousands of miles away from each other. Ironically, blogs also connect colleagues living in the same town (but thousands of miles away from me).
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.