Taylor Newberry Consulting frequently works with small non profit organizations to develop simple, practical evaluation strategies that help them to learn and grow. While introductory evaluation workshops are helpful, we have found that people often need individualized coaching and support when the sit down to apply evaluation principles to their own programs. Over the years, through our coaching work, we’ve developed a good sense of some of the key points at which people often get stuck.
Recently, Andrew was invited by the Peel Institute for Collective Impact, the Region of Peel, and United Way Peel Region, to create a series of short training videos. They are designed for non profit organizations with an interest in improving their capacity to measure outcomes, but little technical expertise in evaluation. Each video takes a common roadblock and offers a few suggestions about how to overcome it. The videos don’t include a lot of technical detail, but are designed instead as conversation starters that serve to demystify the evaluation process.
The first video focuses on explaining program outcomes clearly, because many problems that arise when attempting to measure outcomes are really not measurement problems at all. They are problems with lack of clarity around program design and intent. The video offers three practical tips for explaining your program’s outcomes clearly. These are:
- understand the difference between program results and population results
- understand the difference between outcomes and indicators
- focus on a small number of questions.
The second provides suggestions on how to ask good evaluation questions, because this is an important step that inexperienced evaluators often rush through. The video focuses on the idea of developing questions that enable you to act.
The third video clarifies the ways in which the right indicators can be used to build stronger evaluation plans. It talks about the concept of triangulation.