MESI Wrap-up: Interactive Evaluation

The session “Interactive Evaluation” was led by Jean King.

The session highlighted some useful techniques for interactive evaluation, and began by highlighting Jean’s participatory principles:

  • You should build people’s capacity to think evaluatively
  • Participation in evaluation should be a learning experience
  • It is essential to involve people actively in evaluations (helps ensure use)

The technique that I would like to highlight, that exemplifies these principles, is using a data dialogue in evaluation. A data dialogue is a process you can use when you cannot afford to do a focus group. A data dialogue involves the program participants/stakeholders and turns them into the evaluators. You bring together a bunch of participants/stakeholders (the people you are interested in getting feedback from or interviewing), you then put participants/stakeholders into groups of 3- one is the interviewer, one is the recorder, and one is the interviewee/respondent. They then rotate around their group of 3, so that each is interviewed. This gives you useful information for your evaluation, without having a professional evaluator interview them all.

 See other posts from the 2009 MN Evaluation Studies Institute.


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