On the Home Straight…

Like an old nag picking up the pace when the stable comes into sight,  I too am dreaming of the reward of a crunchy carrot.  Rosanne and I have got our findings and discussion to Bronwyn for formative feedback. My time was spent writing up the key informant interview and arranging some of the findings.  I also put the discussion together in Rosanne’s absence and Rosanne added to it on her return.  I also gave feedback to Alagaes and co. on their findings and Pam and Sandra on their discussion.

On writing these two sections, I had to remind myself about their purpose to avoid blurring them at the edges.  Here is how I see them although I could be wrong – tell you after the formative feedback….

  • Findings:  tell like it is and only how it is – don’t be tempted to start on the ‘why’ bit yet
  • Discussion:  pull out the bits that are significant and make sure you have the aims of the evaluation in mind when writing them up.  You can put your own spin on it – but don’t be too indulgent and back it up.  This is also the chance to tell everyone what didn’t go so well and how this has scewed things.
  • Conclusion:  Highlight all the juicy bits
  • Recommendations: keep it practical and do-able and link it to the evaluation findings

An evaluation guy, Michael Quinn Patton interestingly said that he found recommendations the hardest part of evaluation to teach.  He reckons you can be great at picking up weakness and strenghts of a program through analysis of the data but it doesn’ t neccesarily make you good at being a futurist. “Evaluations can help you make forecasts, but future decisions are not just a function of data.  Making good, contextually grounded, politically saavy and do-able recommendations is a sophisticated skill”


Good luck folks with the final lap.


5 Responses

  1. Hi Sandra
    Liked the link to Patton. Good points about the timing of when to be done with evaluation and when to act.

  2. Hi Sandra,

    Can’t wait for that crunch either!

    I think we have done more or less the same format for our analysis though we have saved recommendations for the final report not sure if this is right or not. We have some very practical and doable offerings for the course lecturer.
    We are loaded on the wiki if you would like to have a read through 🙂

  3. Yes Tonya recommendations go with the conclusions in the final report.
    Sandra, the reference to Patton was very helpful, and I really like your descriptions about what is required for each of the sections. It makes it much easier to understand. Bronwyn

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