Hello! I’m Kate Tinworth, Program Co-Chair of the DVRTIG. I am excited to write about one of my favorite parts of my work as an evaluator— drawing.
Last year at AEA I co-presented a session called, “Drawing Them In: Graphic Facilitation & Evaluation to Strategically Visualize Change” with my friend Chris Chopyak (a rock star who literally wrote the book on using visuals to help businesses address challenges and create strategies). We reminded our audience that we all think visually, images are key to memory and learning, and that you—yes, you—can draw. And you should! Visuals can resolve ambiguity, cut across language and cultural divides, help findings become more salient, and kick start action.
Hot Tip: Find a Local Friend.
If you want to explore the potential of teaming with a graphic facilitator, it’s time to make some new friends. Check out the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP): http://ifvpcommunity.ning.com/. There’s bound to be someone near you!
Rad Resource: Go to a Class/Workshop.
There are great opportunities to try your hand at graphic facilitation, whether you plan to incorporate it into your evaluation practice or just want to stimulate your visual thinking. Though it can feel intimidating, I highly recommend signing up for a class. Learning graphic facilitation techniques have helped me to sketch out graph and chart ideas, think through report layouts, and get far more creative with methodology and instrumentation.
Cool Trick: Drink.
Some graphic facilitation practitioners, including Chris, do “drink and draws” where you can get some drawing practice over a cocktail. Amazing!
Hot Tip: Draw. All the Time.
To become more comfortable with drawing I draw, all the time. Try covering your dining room/kitchen table with butcher paper and put crayons or colored pencils out. When you sit down for coffee or a meal, draw. Tape paper to the wall and “live capture” TED talks or your favorite podcasts. Carry a notebook and favorite pen everywhere. Commit to drawing for just 2 minutes a day.
Cool Trick: Apps.
Rad Resource: Get Inspired.
Hot Tip: Go Visual.
Whenever you can, try to “go visual” in your projects. Try a visual logic model. Engage stakeholders in drawing. I often get my stakeholders to draw during a training or as I present preliminary data. Lately I have also been experimenting with data placemats, which I learned about through AEA (thanks @VeenaPankaj).
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