Program Design TIG Week: Angelina Lopez and Chi Yan Lam on the Rise of Design

Hi! We’re Angelina Lopez (NYC Department of Education’s iZone) and Chi Yan Lam (Queen’s University) from the Program Design TIG. The PD-TIG was founded to provide a forum to explore the theory and practice of program design. Our TIG is proud to sponsor this week’s AEA365 posts. The contributors this week each work at the intersection of evaluation and design. You’ll hear how program design has shaped the way they approach evaluation to enhance evaluation use and program impact.

Hot Tip: 2016 is the Year of Evaluation + Design. At #Eval16, AEA’s annual conference, the concept of design will be explored through the lens of program design, evaluation design, and information design.

Hot Tip: While the field of design has traditionally been associated with the creation and development of tangible products (e.g., industrial design of consumer products; architecture of public spaces), designers are increasingly transcending fields and applying their craft in the social, business, and public sectors:

Rad Resource: The design and social innovation community is actively exploring how design methods, processes, and mindsets may be applied towards solving complex social issues. Toolkits including the Design Kit by, Bootcamp Bootleg by d.School at Stanford University, and the Development Impact & You Toolkit by Neta UK share how to facilitate design methods and activities to explore the needs of end-users of programs and to think creatively about potential solutions (i.e., programs, products, and services).

Lesson Learned: “Design Thinking” has become a trendy buzzword and is often misconstrued as a clear, linear process. In reality, an integrated approach to program design is messy and requires continuous alignment between people and organizations. Additionally, many of these so-called “innovative” methods and processes are not new. We’ve found alignment with participatory and developmental evaluation frameworks, and believe evaluative thinking skills can add value to design approaches.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Program Design TIG Week with our colleagues in the Program Design Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our Program Design TIG  members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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