Dr Jess Dart receives the AES highest award for evaluation "Outstanding Contribution to Evaluation Award". This year’s Outstanding Contribution to Evaluation Award goes to a recognised leader in evaluation who has over 25 years of experience in the collaborative design and evaluation of programs that seek to bring about a more equitable and just society. The judges were impressed by this nominee’s sustained application of authentic inclusivity, and her high level of ethical standards so clea...
By Zazie Tolmer The transformation theme of this year’s evaluation conference in Launceston was very timely. Michael Q. Patton, one of the keynote speakers, pointed out the recent explosion in conferences on transformation but that this is the first evaluation conference to focus on this theme (conference photo credit: Australian Evaluation Society).  The transformation topic was approached from a number of angles with some questioning the transformative power of evaluation – can evaluation ...
The vivid picture of the ‘tiny blue marble’ as seen from space that is our only home, Earth, conjures many emotions. Though the feeling of smallness is not one of them for me, nor are the challenges that Michael Quinn Patton laid out in his keynote welcome speech at the AES evaluation conference  in Launceston. MQP has once again outlined the immense challenges that we face in our sector – how to transform evaluation to something more relevant when applied to global wicked problems. It is ne...
I went to a pre-conference workshop at #AES18LST led by Dr Penny Hagen from Auckland co-design-lab . She walked us a gentle journey down the path of co-design that has values at its heart. She also walked us through the very organic connection between co-design developmental evaluation. The future is integrated design and evaluation, like our Integrated Design, Evaluation and Engagement with Purpose (InDEEP) framework , and after today, I am even more convinced. Along the way we played with ...
By Zazie Tolmer Late last year an opportunity came up for a Clear Horizon consultant to work full time as an embedded evaluator in a Collective Impact initiative. I jumped at the opportunity and have been part of the backbone team for the last eight months. Over that time, the way I approach my practice has changed considerably and I finally feel that I am getting a handle on what it feels like to be a Developmental Evaluator. I have learnt: To go where the positive energy is – Rather than t...
Digital start-up Navigating Outcomes to join world-class evaluation company Clear Horizon in joint bid to transform Australian social impact landscape. There were many unknowns when Australian evaluator Jen Riley first set out to create her own social impact consultancy, Navigating Outcomes. Who her key audience and clients would be, how she could secure the diverse skill sets needed to run her own business, and how she might translate the sometimes overwhelming world of monitoring and evalu...
Back in December 2017, Tom Hannon and Jess Dart posted the first Design & Evaluation – We’re better together blog. At the time, Clear Horizon had just finished delivering our first public training on the Integrated Design, Evaluation and Engagement with Purpose (InDEEP) Framework, which we developed with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI). The InDEEP Framework sets out the design cycle in five phases (discover, define, prototyping, piloting and scaling) and the potential eva...
Over the last few years, as we work more in the social innovation space, our practice has been fruitfully challenged. Ten years ago the majority of our work focused on programs. Increasingly, as evaluators, we provide services across initiatives working towards effecting system changes. Our toolkits have had to expand with our work and we are continually sharpening our skills – and even becoming more agile! Our theory of change toolkit has, as a result, greatly expanded. We have learnt new a...
I have been getting excited about process tracing recently; for example, as used in this report that evaluates 25 collective impact initiatives. Process tracing is a way to back a claim about contribution without using experimental techniques. However, when I talk about process tracing to my non-evaluator colleagues, their eyes glaze over and I can almost hear them groan. They want to know: “Isn’t there a simpler approach we can use ourselves?” So while the geek in me loves process tracing a...
Shared measurement is a core part of collective impact  (CI), a form of place-based approach to collaborative, community-directed efforts to bring about social change. In a nutshell, shared measurement is the “use of a common set of measures to monitor performance, track progress towards outcomes, and learn what is and is not working in the group’s collective approach” (John Kania, FSG). Why shared measurement Shared measurement involves collecting data and measuring results consistently on ...