So how does this relate to evaluation? In my experience…
CUE- there’s money out there and someone wants it or they have some and want to keep it, grant related example
RESPONSE: Evaluator, we need a survey and some numbers, throw in a few colorful charts
REWARD: $, everybody wins…
Great, that gets at the WHAT, but more recently I’ve been getting more WHY requests, I would like to think it’s based on my push that evaluation spans way beyond a survey. The non evaluators I work with in different capacities are now asking for focus groups to look at the WHY when they get a 20% satisfaction rating or even 100% it’s always good to see what works also, to keep it coming, keep the folks happy.
Another request, streamlining processes and making reporting a breeze for the people in charge, not just a task for the all knowing evaluator who has all the numbers and keeps them to his/herself. I think it’s great and #ontopofthebox not because I enjoy getting lost among pages among pages of transcripts, or because I want you to do this report so I dont have to, but because it’s, dare I say it…empowering. Running your own data reports and talking through them with your team, maybe an evaluator at first, gets a CEO engaged with how the parts fit into the whole and he can have some strategic conversations not only with other senior people but that report can be digestible and inspiring to front line staff (mentioned in Duhigg’s book review) and with the proper formatting and delivery. The next thing you know silos are being broken down in your agency, birds are chirping, bees are singing, no more survey request (ok maybe not), but people will begin to see the value of evaluation….outside of the traditional means over time…and may increase dare I say it….$.
Now I know it’s not that simple, but evaluators, give it a try.
Do you see your evaluations as tools of empowerment to an array of stakeholders?
Be on the lookout for my Part 3 of the book review post to see a few of my ideas on what you can try to break bad evaluation habits, to get eval #ontopofthebox