Hello. We are Jane Davidson, Director of Real Evaluation Ltd, and Patricia Rogers, Professor of Public Sector Evaluation at RMIT University, and together we write the Genuine Evaluation blog.
We’d spent years discussing evaluation offline and found that we shared some strong views and values (and a sense of humor) that we could have some fun blogging with. We share an unwillingness to accept credentials or power as a substitute for quality, a commitment to improving the quality of evaluation in certain ways, and an international approach from a distinctly Southern Hemisphere perspective (Jane is based in New Zealand and Patricia in Australia).
Rad Resource – Genuine Evaluation. Genuine Evaluation is value-based, empirical, usable, sincere and humble – unlike some of what passes for evaluation in contracted work, published work and public policy. In the blog we discuss what genuine evaluation looks like, good examples, bad examples, lessons learned, tips, useful practices and methodologies. We occasionally have guest bloggers, including, to date, Nan Wehipeihana, Michael Scriven, Tererai Trent and Katherine Hay. We average 2-3 posts a week. Our plans for “the occasional joke” have turned into a pretty regular Friday Funny. When we’re both busy, sometimes we only get out a Friday Funny in a week.
Hot Tips – favorite posts:
- What is Genuine Evaluation? Sets out five elements
- 9 Golden Rules for Commissioning a Waste of Money Evaluation Using humor can make it easier to talk about difficult issues. This post generated a flurry of responses, all adding important thoughts about the process of commissioning evaluations.
- Causal inference for program evaluation An annotated list and analysis of different approaches to developing and testing theories about cause and effect in evaluation.
- What consitutes evidence? Implications for cutting edge tailored treatments and small sub-populations A detailed argument about the limitations of the “hierarchy of evidence” approach to evidence-based practice and some alternatives.
- Genuine Evaluation song Sing along to the provided lyrics
Lessons Learned – why we blog: We blog to form ideas, improve ideas and share ideas. Some short posts are ways of practising and demonstrating what it means to take a genuinely evaluative perspective on current issues. Some longer posts have been the early stages of ideas that have then been developed further in books and papers. Blogging makes us take action to capture interesting thoughts rather than letting them escape.
Lessons Learned: Blogging together can halve the strain and double the gain of blogging. Sometimes we take it in turns to blog, while the other has pressing commitments to work or life. Other times we work together, tossing ideas back and forth in a Skype chat and then editing it for a blog post.
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.