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Nonprofits and Nuclear Reactors: A Father-Son Conversation about Learning

Research & Evaluation

I chose a very different career path from my Dad, Bob.  He  is an engineer who spent his career in the nuclear power industry.  He worked for a while at the United Nations in Vienna, travelling around the world evaluating the practices at nuclear power plants.   After reading a paper I co-wrote last fall, my dad mentioned to me that he thought there was a lot of overlap between his work at the UN  and what I did as an evaluator in the non-profit sector -and I think he is right.  As different as our professional interests are, his wisdom about changing the way people relate to evidence translates really well to my work. In honour of my Dad and all dads on Father’s Day, here is a lightly edited version of the conversation we had over email. Read More

How is TNC being Called to Respond in the “New Normal?”

Facilitation and Training, Program & Systems Design, Research & Evaluation


Today marks the beginning of TNC’s 10th anniversary year.   This is the first of a series of posts reflecting on our practice and our mission.  

At TNC, we choose partners carefully.  Whether you are a grantmaker, a frontline service provider, a local government department, a national network or a capacity builder, we work with you because you are on the front lines of our collective efforts to create a better world.  You amaze us, you teach us, and you impress us.    Read More

Falling in Love with the Rules

Program & Systems Design, Research & Evaluation, Uncategorized

51dYGzGi6rL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_-2NOTE: A version of this post was originally published at Tamarack’s Communities Collaborating Institute Online.

Here at Taylor Newberry, when we do evaluation work, we try our best to create surveys and tools that are thoughtful, accessible, and useful.   We try to avoid creating mindless paperwork.  I have just finished reading The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, by David Graeber, and it makes me think perhaps we have to be even more vigilant to guard against the creep of bureaucracy.   Read More