I’ve been taking a class this semester at the feet of one of evaluation’s gurus…Dr. Abraham Wandersman the “father” of Getting to Outcomes utilized across the world for program implementation and evaluation. It has been a neat experience in that we are working on an actual project utilizing the GTO framework while taking the course, a wonderful example of experiential learning. However, what this class has done for me, an evaluator who saw the clean lines of a good logic model as tasty as a piece of chocolate cake, is make things exponentially more complicated. It is going to be the topic for the week. This week, dare I actually venture into it given last week’s attempts at my life, I will be discussing how we as evaluators can see program evaluation through an implementation lens. This may or may not be comfortable for some, but I’ve been saying for years that we must focus on implementation if we are going to say anything definitively about program impacts.
Dr. David Hunter is a Performance Management expert who specializes in teaching others how to monitor their implementation so that data are driving the decisions for change or continuing at status quo. This has me thinking about our work as evaluators. Do we work with clients to assist them in to understand their own project/program implementation or are we more focused on outcomes? I’m asking for us to move up stream so to speak in the implementation process as see where our clients are on the spectrum, find ways to assist them in their own implementation improvement strategies. Implementing Change: Patterns, Principles, and Potholes by Gene E. Hall and Shirly M. Hord have great resources and suggestions, look for it today.
This week, I’m going to focus on some concrete suggestions both for us as evaluators and personally to do a little “performance management”…so today’s quick thoughts are about how well you are implementing your own life? Is there a plan? Is there a goal or multiple goals? What are you doing to track your own performance? Enjoy Monday.
Call or email a client from your past today. Cultivating the relationship is very much a part of the independent consultant’s job. The quick tip I offer today is the logic model. The tried and true trusty logic model. Many people are moving away from it, but its simplicity allows for quick and easy focus on the work that needs to be done. Today, when you email or call a past client offer to them the suggestion to use a 2 minute single activity version of the logic model when they are directing staff for the day or at a staff meeting. Ask staff to find 1 thing that they focus on that day. What do they put into that? Are they utilizing all the resources at hand? What exactly do they do with that client (are they following procedure as the best practice recommends?) and finally are they getting the results they desire (all of the results they desire)? Quick and powerful, this single activity focus can create an agency that is managing performance and thus increasing its evaluation capacity! The 2 minute single activity logic model…use it today!