Evaluation in the time of Covid 19 by Isabelle Collins
My name is Isabelle Collins, and I am a principal advisor, research and evaluation at Oranga Tamariki the Ministry for Children in New Zealand.
At the time of writing the virus has not (as far as we know) escaped into the community here – although that day will surely come. Nevertheless, we have to think hard about the practicalities of our evaluation programme, particularly our qualitative work. How do we proceed in the absence of face to face contact and when we can’t reach people through the places they used to congregate? The Ministry delivers services to young people and their wh?nau/families in times of crisis – that can’t stop, and as we roll out new services, the accompanying real-time evaluation in indispensable to ensure we are reaching the people that matter with the services they need, so stopping isn’t an option. Planning future work becomes difficult to impossible.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Rather it’s an opportunity to develop new tools, to increase our use of existing tools and for some people, to overcome their inner technophobe. It even gives us the opportunity to involve people more – an online Zoom workshop might be much more accessible to some small NGOs who deliver our programmes than travelling to physical workshops some distance away with the associated loss of time (we can and do pay, but opportunity costs are high).
Rad Resources: AEA 365 – yes this very place – is searchable and is full of great ideas which people have found helpful (and great people to follow up with – they came here because they wanted to share, right?)
A few things I found for ideas – and maybe we need to spark new thinking.
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