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Susan Kistler on Innovative Reporting Part II: Book Giveaway and #altreporting Videos

My name is Susan Kistler and I am on a crusade to expand our reporting horizons. Earlier this month, we looked at little chocolate reports. Today, let’s consider adding videos to your evaluation reporting toolbox.


Get Involved: But first, a little incentive for you to share your best alternative reporting ideas. And possibly get a reward for doing it. In the notes to this blog, or via twitter using the hashtag #altreporting, share either (a) your best unique evaluation reporting idea, or (b) a link to a great alternative evaluation report, and in either case note why you love it. I’ll randomly draw one winner from among the commenters/tweeters and send you a copy of “How to Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck,” a book that can help anyone create video that isn’t embarrassing. Contribute as often as you like, but you will be entered only once in the random drawing on May 1.

Back to our programming. If you are reading this via a medium that does not allow you to view the embedded videos, such as most email, please click back through to the blog now by clicking on the title to the post.

Rad Resource – Unique Reporting Videos: Kate Tinworth, via a post on her always thought-provoking ExposeYourMuseum blog, recently shared three wonderful short video reports made by her audience insights team when she was working at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Each uses everyday objects to help visualize evaluation findings in an engaging way.

This video is my favorite of the three. It introduces the evaluators, reports demographics via a stacked bar chart built from jellybeans, and is at once professional and accessible.

Cool Trick: Kate’s team met museum volunteers and staff at the door with small bags of jellybeans that included a cryptic link to the report in order to get people to view the video.

Rad Resource – Unique Reporting Videos: This video from a team in Melbourne, Australia, shares findings from an evaluation of a primary school kitchen gardening program. It introduces the key stakeholders and deepens our understanding of the program without listing its components.

Rad Resource – Unique Reporting Videos: I wrote before on aea365 about getting this mock reporting video made for $5. I can still envision it embedded on an animal shelter’s website, noting how the shelter is using its evaluation findings. My favorite part is that it talks about evaluation use – how things are changing because of the evaluation at a small business.

Rad Resource: Visit the Alternative Reporting – Videos Pinterest Page I’m curating for TheSmarterOne.com for more reporting video examples and commentary.

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@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

7 thoughts on “Susan Kistler on Innovative Reporting Part II: Book Giveaway and #altreporting Videos”

  1. I second the infographics- the national eXtension group put out an infographic for their annual report this year and it was great! I found this format very easy to read and share: http://bit.ly/1hZ2TpT

    In Alaska, we’ve been working on videos to add to our “program highlights” for Extension, so the tips in this blog are very welcome, thanks!

  2. BetterEvaluation just added an entry about infographics that had what I think is a good example on “Nightstop’s Impact”. The infographic gave me a basic understanding of the program and its impacts. I didn’t like the graphic in the bottom left though, it didn’t match the concept of volunteer hours for me and I didn’t like the one woman among all of the little man figures (let’s be realistic, for homestays women are probably a core of the volunteers). Here’s the link to the piece at BetterEvaluation, you’ll need to scroll down a bit to get to the Nightstop infographic http://betterevaluation.org/blog/infographics_to_make_your_eval_results_go_viral/.

    1. Thanks for this post, and as always sharing useful resources! In IFRC we have been searching for more meaningful, creative ways to do reporting and using new technology in PMER. In 2013 and in 2014, we embarked on the following 2 video initiatives:


      Video on IFRC’s Shelter Commitment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-PwP1ruzL0&list=PLrI6tpZ6pQmQZsKuQl6n4ELEdiVqHGFw2

      This video highlights the findings and recommendations from the Evaluation of the Shelter Role of the IFRC carried out between October 2012 and March 2013. Go to: http://www.ifrc.org/en/publications-and-reports/evaluations/?c=38&co=&fy=&mo=&mr=1&r=&ti=&ty=&tyr=&z=


      Baseline Survey Video

      A joint initiative between IFRC’s Planning and Evaluation Department, Uganda Red Cross Society and the Swedish Red Cross Society to pilot a video baseline survey which complements the baseline survey carried out for URCS’s Community Resilience programme in 2013. This video aims to capture stories according to selected objectives/indicators of the programme with the idea that in three-years time the video could serve as a tool to measure and demonstrate change or highlight gaps in programming in the future.

      Short version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S06X98Li2Aw&list=PLrI6tpZ6pQmQZsKuQl6n4ELEdiVqHGFw2

      Long version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WFbTliEawU&list=PLrI6tpZ6pQmQZsKuQl6n4ELEdiVqHGFw2

      In PMER we have seen the value of using video as a tool in PMER and we are looking forward to exploring how we can continue to use this medium in our work.

      Looking forward to reading and seeing what others are up to in the area of innovate reporting.

  3. Susan, these are great! I had forgotten about your frog video and I really love it. It was fantastic to see how others have incorporated video into their reporting.

    After doing that series of videos with my team at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, I realized video could be a fantastic medium for many phases of an evaluation process.

    When I reply to an RFP or want to introduce myself to a potential new client, making a short video to accompany a proposal or email is an incredibly memorable, personalized touch. As an example, I recently was unable to attend the first advisory group meeting for a large, multi-year project. Instead, I created a little video introduction (found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IJXZQDbA1Q). When I met the group at the following meeting I received incredibly positive feedback; they already knew my face, a little bit about me and my approach to the work, and felt connected. It was a great way to start the process.

    Now that I am consulting full time, I don’t have the skills, equipment, or budget that I had while internal to a large organization. That said, you can do great little videos these days with an iPad or even your phone. It doesn’t take much. Sure, they’re not as polished, but sometimes I feel that’s better. It is genuinely “me” and very authentic to how I work. I am a big fan of stop motion (like the one I linked to above), so I often do that. I hand-draw icons and keep them in a file, as I find many of them are able to be used again and again.

    Can’t wait to see what others post.
    Thanks for sparking some great dialogue, as always!

  4. I am smitten with the frog video! It’s such a brilliant design – identifying evaluation results and describing (with examples!) specifically how the clinic plans to address each to improve services. Even if not for a video, that’s a great example of how to present results to stakeholders or customers in an easy to understand format.

    My favorite fun way to present data thus far is definitely Susan’s chocolate reporting – because who doesn’t LOVE chocolate?! Another fun way to present data (that I admit I haven’t used yet, but want to!) is Stephanie Evergreen’s scratch off graphs: http://stephanieevergreen.com/scratch-off-graphs/. In my mind I see participants getting so excited about what appears beneath the scratches that it’s like seeing the impact of their work in your evaluation findings are as good as winning the lottery!

    Thanks for sharing the resources Susan!! These are great ideas!

  5. I’ll be the first. I like the evaluation reports from the I’m a Scientist project because they provided different types and lengths of reports so that we could read them in as much or as little detail as we wanted. And, as trite as it seems, I also liked the font and layout.


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