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Cindy Banyai on Creative Tech Tools for Participatory Evaluation

I am Dr. Cindy Banyai and I am the Executive Director of the Refocus Institute, a consultancy specializing in planning and training in participatory evaluation using visual methods.  I have recently returned to the U.S. from working and researching in Asia, where I was a member and an editor for the English language journal of the Japan Evaluation Society.

Non-traditional forms of data collection and analysis, such as photo elicitation, participatory video and artistic metaphor can provide structure and rigor to even the most reflexive data collection methodology through diligent facilitation and observation by external evaluators. Formalized reports can then be generated by the evaluator to quiet even the most ardent skeptics (although the process and participation are the true outputs).

Physical deliverables further persuade the cynics and to meet these ends I suggest the following resources:

Rad Resource:  If you are interested in producing a high-quality book of the photographs rendered through your evaluation process this can be done through Blurb.  This site offers a handy program for the design and construction of your book that could also be added as a part of your evaluation and presentation process.  The design program is free, but there is a cost for each physical copy you want (starting at $2.95 for basic black and white paperbacks up to $59.95 for large, full color hardcovers).   The drag and drop interface is easy even for beginners.  I would not recommend this resource for text-rich self-produced books, however, as the program does not import Microsoft Word formatting appropriately.

Rad Resource:  To edit video clips into your own movie you can try Jay Cut.  You have to join the community, but once you do it is free to use.  Video and audio clips, as well as still photographs can be uploaded and edited on their website.  You can also record clips directly from a webcam.  Videos can be directly exported to YouTube or accessed through a link provided by Jay Cut.

Rad Resources:  If you are working with metaphor or drawing then you may consider making an animation.  In that case you can check out Zimmer Twins.  Zimmer Twins is basic and aimed at a younger audience and is a bit limited in its available frames and emotions, but is fun and easy to use for adults as well.  Movies from Zimmer Twins cannot be downloaded, but are searchable through their site.

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5 thoughts on “Cindy Banyai on Creative Tech Tools for Participatory Evaluation”

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Cindy Banyai on Creative Tech Tools for Participatory Evaluation | AEA365 -- Topsy.com

  2. I should also point out that in photo elicitation the photographs can be taken by anyone or even altered to provoke a response. But photographs in photo journaling are taken by the participants themselves.

  3. Thanks for your questions Sheila. I did not get a chance to listen in on the webinar yesterday despite my best intention. However, I have heard much about photo journaling (also photovoice) in evaluation from an earlier presentation and webinar from Kimberly Kay Lopez. The difference I see is that photo elicitation is a research method that uses photographs as a basis of discussion, particularly among groups of people. Whereas photo journaling is a type of user-generated data gathering and reflection process without the specific intention of sharing those photographs with a group. The photographs from photo journaling can be used for photo elicitation if the process involves using them in larger group discussions. Another way to put it is that photo elicitation is a nested concept/process that can be included in photo jourmaling activities. Douglas Harper in his ethnographic study on agricultural life entitled “Changing Works” provides a good example of the use of photo elicitation.

  4. Great post! Thank you for this information. One question I have (especially after having attended the AEA Coffee Break Webinar yesterday) is the distinction between photo elicitation and photo journaling. Can you shed any light on this?

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