A Look at Language Week: Renaming Social Betterment by Jean King

Greetings. This is Jean King, an Evaluation Studies professor at the University of Minnesota for another three months. My life-long goal as an evaluator has been to leave this messy world of ours a better place as a result of my work, even knowing that the measurement of that outcome is highly challenging. Some call …

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A Look at Language Week: Beyond Competency by Michael Quinn Patton

I am Michael Quinn Patton of Utilization-Focused Evaluation. Engaging intended users I have to be thoughtful about words, attempting to avoid jargon and words that make people cringe. What those words are can change –and surprise.  Take, for instance, the notion of competency. The profession of evaluation is fairly obsessed with competency: a major factor …

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A Look at Language Week: (On The Absence of) Whiteness by A. Rafael Johnson

I’m A. Rafael Johnson, an arts-based evaluator at TerraLuna Collaborative in Minneapolis. I use the methodologies of the arts to gather, analyze, and report data for communities, arts organizations, and non-arts organizations. But I’m a writer and novelist before I’m an evaluator. Words matter to me. For me, words carry meaning. In fact, words are …

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A Look at Language Week: Tidying Evaluation of “Diversity” & “Culture” by Vidhya Shanker

Vidhya Shanker from Rainbow Research here. Inspired by Marie Kondo, who advises keeping only what touches our hearts, I offer evaluation two words to discard. Diversity: Descended from business, “diversity” was introduced in evaluation in the late 1980s by AEA president Ross Conner. Conner explicitly expressed concern regarding the representation of women—where he felt AEA …

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A Look at Language Week: Words That Make Me Cringe by Nora Murphy Johnson

Hi! My name is Nora Murphy Johnson, a Creative Evaluator and co-founder of TerraLuna Collaborative and the Developmental Evaluation Institute. Our blog posts this week are written by Minnesota evaluators working in justice and equity spaces, focus on words–words to retire, discard, or include. I am writing about words that make me cringe because the …

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Hot Tips and Rad Resources for Summer Evaluation Learning by Sheila B Robinson

Happy Summer AEA365ers! I’m Sheila B Robinson, AEA365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor with some great summer learning opportunities for evaluators. Lesson Learned: Summer is a great time to reset, recharge and renew — on the beach, the golf course, or in your own backyard. It’s also a great time to expand your evaluation …

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NA TIG Week: Saying It Visually! Participatory Photography for Needs Assessment and Asset Mapping by Madhawa “Mads” Palihapitiya

Hi! I’m Madhawa “Mads” Palihapitiya, Associate Director of the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration at UMass Boston. Since 2015, I’ve been using participatory photography for needs assessment and asset mapping with “at-risk” youth in Boston and its suburbs. Hot Tip: PhotoVoice is a participatory research method used successfully as a participatory needs assessment approach to …

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NA TIG Week: Measuring Necessity and Sufficiency by Ryan Watkins

I’m Ryan Watkins and I teach needs assessment at George Washington University and for The Evaluator’s Institute. Last year I emphasized the importance of applying the concepts of necessary and sufficient conditions when doing needs assessments. This year I want to extend that contribution to introduce aspects of measuring necessity and sufficiency, which (when data …

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NA TIG Week: Needs Assessments in City Planning: Examples from Four Cities – Saint Paul, Portland, Oklahoma City and Edmonton by Maurya West Meiers

I’m Maurya West Meiers. I work at the World Bank as a Senior Evaluation Officer and am coauthor of A Guide to Assessing Needs: Essential Tools for Collecting Information, Making Decisions, and Achieving Development Results (free World Bank book). Needs assessments and planning go hand-in-hand. Recently I’ve been interested in needs assessments applied at the municipal/city level. Many cities …

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NA TIG Week: Using a Logic Model Framework to Plan an Evaluation by Sue Hamann

I’m Sue Hamann and have worked as an Evaluator for almost 40 years and am currently employed at the National Institutes of Health as a Health Scientist and Science Evaluation Officer. Many people new to evaluation are assigned to work as evaluators. My tips today are for those novice evaluators who need some help getting …

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