AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

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My name is Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director. This week I am excited to welcome AEA’s newest Topical Interest Group (TIG) focusing on Data Visualization and Reporting (DVR). All this week, we’ll be reading aea365 posts from our DVR colleagues and have DVR items highlighted on the Headlines and Resources list (you can view or subscribe here). On Thursday, we’ll host a webinar on Developing Evaluation Reports That Are Useful, User-friend, and Used, and stay tuned next Saturday for our first aea365 drawing.

The DVR team is exploring issues that are near and dear to my heart – I always seem to be swimming in data and want to share it with the world, but getting it cleaned, converted, beautified and delivered can be time-consuming and requires skills that I need to improve. Even before the DVR TIG started, we’ve had lots of posts on aea365 focusing in this area. This seemed like the perfect time to dive into the archives and highlight past DVR posts.

Hot Tip – Data Visualization and Recording posts from the aea365 archives:

Interested in design clarity? See Stephanie Evergreen on Graphic Design, Daniela Schröter on Improving Evaluation Document Clarity, or my own post on Finding a Great Font.

Need tips to increasing the accessibility and readability of your materials? Jennifer Sullivan Sulewski on Using Universal Design to Make Your Evaluations More Inclusive, Lyn Paleo on Graphic-Based Reports and Graphics for Color-Impaired Readers, and Lija Greenseid on Using a Readability Calculator.

Want to improve and deliver great slides for your next presentation? See John Nash on Creating Outstanding Presentation Slides and Chris Lysy on Slideshare and Slidecasting.

Called on to create a dashboard? Check out Kile Dyer on Dashboards or Veronica Smith on Data Dashboard Design.

Hoping for data visualization inspiration? See Bianca Montrosse on Innovative Data Displays, or my own posts on Data Visualization Part I and Part II.

Looking for data visualization tools? Try Laura Blasi on Sparklines, Nina Potter on Tableau for Data Visualization, or Sue Griffey on Wordle.

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

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I’m Susan Kistler, AEA’s Executive Director and contributor of each Saturday’s aea365 post. I’ve written before about AEA’s Headlines and Resources list which compiles items from across the field into a tidy bundle which most subscribers see each Sunday. Today, I’m listing the top H&R items from 2010 so you are sure not to miss them, and to provide comparison monitoring data for other groups doing similar projects.

1. (1226 clickthroughs/October 2009) Periodic Table of Visualization Methods – examples for each of approx 100 ways to express data visually

Posted in October of 2009, this ‘went viral’ and was still receiving clickthroughs throughout 2010.

2. (495 clickthroughs/November) Lots of new items this week in the AEA eLibrary from #eval10 presenters!

Presenters have added still more – over 200 to date!

3. (442 clickthroughs/March) AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute Registration Now Open!

Link removed – the 2010 Institute is now well past. Save the dates for 2011 in Atlanta, June 12-15. Registration opens in March.

4. (388 clickthroughs/April) Friday Funny: 62 (Good) Reasons for Avoiding Evaluation in the UN System via the Genuine Evaluation Blog

Jane Davidson and Patricia Rogers began the Genuine Evaluation Blog in February of 2010. Their Friday Funny posts are at once funny and frightfully on-target.

5. (368 clickthroughs/January) Spread the word! aea365 blog – tip a day for and from evaluators starts today

Still going strong in 2011 with over 1600 daily subscribers. Thanks to the readers and volunteers making aea365 a success.

6. (357 clickthroughs/October) Rick Davies from the European Evaluation Society conference – Do we need a Minimum Level of Failure (MLF)?

Rick Davies wrote this post on his ‘Rick on the Road’ blog focusing on evaluation of development aid.

7. (337 clickthroughs/October) Evaluation 2010 Conference Attendees – Nights Out signups are now open!

Link removed – Nights Out brings together groups for socializing and networking. We’ll be in Anaheim for 2011!

8. (290 clickthroughs/April) A bounty of sources on presenting data graphically and presenting results

Gene Shackman maintains resource lists on multiple topics related to evaluation.

9. (295 clickthroughs/January) E Tufte critiques the 2008 iPhone Interface as an example of data visualization – YouTube Video

Author ofVisual Display of Quantitative Information turns his eye to Apple’s darling.

10. (283 clickthroughs/April) Time for a laugh: Evaluation focused parody of Snow White from MQ Patton in AEA Public eLibrary

And, a great teaching tool from our own Michael Quinn Patton!

Want to subscribe to AEA’s H&R list? You can do so on the H&R website to receive the week’s list in real time via RSS or once a week via email. Alternatively, the list is posted every Sunday on EVALTALK, AEA’s public listserv, or may be accessed by following aeaweb on twitter.

My name is Susan Kistler, AEA’s Executive Director, and contributor of each Saturday’s aea365 post. Last June, I wrote about Funding Opportunities for Evaluators. Today, I want to expand a bit in that arena. Over the past six months, we’ve been working to improve our listening and identifying processes, to find evaluation Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and grant opportunities to share. Two resources in particular have proven useful:

Rad Resource: Philanthropy News Digest has a customizable RFP Alert system that sends RFP alerts right to your email. This is different from subscribing to their newsletter; instead, you must set up a free account on their website. Then, select profile -> edit profile -> Newsletters/Alert Subscriptions. This great service isn’t an easy find, and takes about two minutes to set up, but it allows you to customize the information you receive by RFP subject and by region.

Rad Resource: allows you to find and apply for United States Federal Grants. Using the Subscription tab or button, you can sign up to receive daily notices of all new grant opportunities or set up advanced criteria to hone in on your area of specialization.

The above two resources have proven the most valuable so far in identifying funding opportunities for evaluators. The AEA staff monitors these on a daily basis and adds opportunities that we find to the AEA Headlines and Resources list. However, our review is a general one, wherein we’re striving to identify opportunities with an evaluation focus. If you are working within a larger firm or agency, subscribing to either or both of the above will help you to identify opportunities that may incorporate evaluation, but have a broader focus.

Hot Tip: As in June, I recommend signing up for AEA’s weekly headlines and resources list that includes the funding opportunity finds for that week. The list is posted each Sunday to AEA’s Listserv, EVALTALK, and appears in the news listing on AEA’s LinkedIn group. But, to receive it in a nice stand-alone compact form, you can subscribe to the headlines and resources list as a single weekly compilation via the Headlines and Resources website.

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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My name is Susan Kistler and I am AEA’s Executive Director. I contribute each Saturday’s post to the aea365 blog. AEA is striving to help evaluators know about evaluation funding opportunities, working to improve on two fronts:

  1. Listening and Identifying: Improving our processes for knowing about funding opportunities
  2. Disseminating and Communicating: Improving our processes for letting the evaluation community know about funding opportunities

Hot Tip: To learn about funding opportunities for evaluators, subscribe to AEAWEB: Headlines and Resources. AEAWEB includes a range of headlines and announcements of interest to evaluators, and is where we post an announcement of each identified funding opportunity. The easiest ways to receive AEAWEB are via one of the following:

Hot Tip: If you are on Twitter, follow @aeaweb to receive headlines and resources announcements in real time rather than as a weekly compilation.

Hot Tip: Here are four opportunities posted this past week, to give you an example of the announcements included on AEAWEB.

  • Funding: Impact 2.0 – grant opportunity for evaluating web 2.0 in Latin America
  • Funding: Evaluating Oil Spill Disaster Response? Grants Available Through NSF
  • Funding: Grants available for graduate students evaluating Head Start Programs for their dissertation research
  • Funding: Establish National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations from US DHHS

If you know of a funding opportunity for evaluators, please share it via an email to

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