My name is Kylie Hutchinson. I am an independent evaluation consultant and trainer with Community Solutions Planning & Evaluation (www.communitysolutions.ca). I give regular webinars and workshops on evaluation topics for both the AEA and CES and Twitter weekly at @EvaluationMaven.
The field of evaluation is rife with inconsistent yet overlapping terminology that stems from different sectors, funders, geography, and individual program areas. Although this terminology is underpinned by consistent concepts and theory, it regularly confuses new evaluators or program staff tasked with doing evaluation in their organization. Despite the fact that more and more funders are demanding increased evaluation activity, this inconsistency in terminology is not going to be harmonized any time soon.
Rad Resource: The free, searchable Evaluation Glossary Mobile App for iPhones and Androids. This app provides immediate reference to over 600 evaluation, program planning, and research-related terms. It is useful for:
- new evaluators
- program staff new to the area of evaluation
- executive directors, program staff, and evaluators needing to interpret inconsistent evaluation demands from multiple project funders
- evaluators working in international contexts
- funders wishing to harmonize their use of evaluation terms.
At some point we also hope to have both a web-based and multi-lingual version as well.
Rad Resource: A Typology of Evaluation Terms. This work-in-progress is my attempt at grouping our overlapping terminology in meaningful ways and perhaps starting more dialogue on this issue.
Hot Tip: Becoming an “interpreter” of different evaluation terminology is a useful skill for any evaluator who works in various program areas and across sectors.
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