Blog

Musings about capacity building, program evaluation, and data visualization.

Design for Non-Designers

Design for Non-Designers

Whether you identify as a designer or a non-designer, I think we can all agree that we are living in an era where short and easily digestible materials are preferable to dense reports. We have recently seen renewed interest in the field of data visualization, with formats such as infographics and one-pagers in high demand. At the same time, many organizations have limited funding and training opportunities available to purchase and learn design programs. Fortunately, there are a number of free and low-cost tools available online with equally low learning curves, allowing both designers and non-designers to create polished products.

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Why I Marched: Social Worker for Social Justice, Evaluator for Equity

Why I Marched: Social Worker for Social Justice, Evaluator for Equity

One of the questions asked leading up to and following the Women’s March on Washington is, why march? The Women’s March was not a single issue event. It was about advocating for human rights, standing in solidarity, and fostering community. So as a social worker for social justice and an evaluator for equality, I ask, why not?

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Evaluation Trends: Lessons from Eval16

Evaluation Trends: Lessons from Eval16

I spend a lot of time thinking about how to best meet the needs of my clients. One of the ways to do this is by keeping up with innovations in evaluation and other related fields. So naturally one of the questions I had been asking myself during the past year leading up to the 2016 American Evaluation Association Conference (#Eval16) was, “what are the current trends in evaluation?” Here are some themes that I’m hearing in my own work and those that I heard at Eval16: 1) Design, 2) Databases, 3) Evaluation Capacity Building, 4) Cultural Responsiveness, 5) Communication.

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Thinking Like an Evaluator: 2016 Election Edition

Thinking Like an Evaluator: 2016 Election Edition

Twenty-four hours ago, like many of you, I cast my vote in a historic election, knowing that whatever the outcome, we would be entering a new phase for our country. Well the people have spoken, the data is in, and, America, we have a problem. So what’s next and how can thinking like an evaluator help move the nation forward?

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Low Cost, High Impact Dashboards: Part 2

Low Cost, High Impact Dashboards: Part 2

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with our three-step process for dashboard design (Discuss, Develop, Refine), you’re ready to put your dashboard skills to the test. This post will provide example dashboards that we’ve created, and explain how the dashboard design principles were used. Want to learn more about what questions to ask during each phase of the dashboard design process? Download our Dashboard Design Checklist.

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Low Cost, High Impact Dashboards: Part 1

Low Cost, High Impact Dashboards: Part 1

This blog post is a collaboration between Elizabeth Grim and Laura Sundstrom (posted on both of our sites), based on our presentation at the 2016 American Evaluation Association conference in Atlanta, GA. The presentation, entitled “Low Cost, High Impact: How to Create Dashboards on a Budget,” focused on basic dashboard design principles and provided detailed examples of how to create meaningful dashboards using Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. This is the first part of a pair of blog posts about the presentation. This first part focuses on basic dashboard design principles. Watch for the second post providing examples of how to use these principles in action using Excel and PowerPoint.

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