Our Community

September 2, 2021 / Edited by Cameron Elliot

A new space for those measuring, evaluating and learning from their impact: Welcome to the Clear Horizon Community.

Sometimes it can be challenging being the only evaluation or impact measurement specialist in your organisation. You might enjoy a unique bird’s eye view across all of your organisation’s activities and impact. But you may also sit (virtually, these days) slightly apart from the teams knee-deep in design and implementation. And so when you run into a really sticky MEL issue – where do you go to for advice?

Well, we’d humbly suggest the newly-created Clear Horizon Community. Here’s what our Academy Head Cam Elliott has to say about it.

There are already evaluation courses and peak bodies out there – why have you created this space?

One of the things that came up again and again from learners on our Academy courses was how much they valued the sense of community it provided – the opportunity to connect with others doing similar roles, facing similar challenges. We know that sometimes you can feel a bit isolated when you’re the only internal evaluator or impact measurement specialist in your organisation. And we also know that there are thousands of new and experienced evaluators struggling with the same issues – this is great way to connect them and create a network of peers and create an ongoing space for discussion. You’re not going to get that from a course or membership alone.

Who should join?

Anyone who is trying to make a difference in the world, and wants to know the impact of their work – the community is here to help you measure change. So whether you’re working in an NGO, in government, you’re a MEL specialist, a change-maker or social researcher – we think there’s something here for you. In fact, there are already people like you signed up to the community – you should meet them!

What are you hoping to create?

You know how often the best parts of a conference are the “in-between” bits? Where you meet like-minded people doing amazing work, and you get to pick their brains, or you can commiserate with someone who’s been stuck on the same problem as you? That’s the environment we want to build –  yes you can certainly access  our formal learning tools and resources, but  the connections you can make and the lessons you can learn from your fellow practitioners are just as much a draw-card.

How does it work?

You visit the site, create your profile, and then explore! We’ve got a Resource Library that’s packed with tools, guides, and tips for all manner of MEL work, but we’ve also got a number of practical, interactive spaces that we’re really excited about. So you can share your challenge and see if your peers have any similar stories or advice, post a recommendation about any book, article or app that’s making a difference to your work, see what jobs are going in the sector, or even just hang out in the community lobby with a virtual drink and chat with like-minded change-makers.

What does it offer someone new to evaluation?

It’s a chance to connect with others who are just starting their MEL journey, as well as those who might be a little further down the path, and whose insights and advice just might save you a whole lot of work. Also – our Resource Library currently has loads of tools and guides, developed off the back of thousands of hours of work and experience by our consultants, that they want to share to save you time and ultimately help you measure and drive greater impact. Why start from scratch if you don’t have to?

It’s also a space for those who don’t work directly in MEL, but who are part of social change initiatives – this is where you can come to learn about how evaluation and impact measurement is done, and connect with people working on projects similar to yours.

What’s in it for experienced and expert evaluators and impact specialists?

Evaluators will be the first to tell you that they don’t know everything – and as general rule, they love learning and acknowledge that we are always learning. This is the space to share ideas, to challenge each other on new approaches and to be honest about what hasn’t worked and why. We’d love to see more open discussion around this – and hopefully this is the place where people will feel comfortable doing that.

Beyond that, this is the chance for experienced practitioners to share that experience and be a mentor – to give back and help ‘build the field’, to help those starting out learn and grow and ultimately, help drive outcomes and impact across the sector.

What do you ask community members to contribute?

The community is free to join, but we do want community members to contribute. We want your questions – what are you struggling with? Is this perhaps an issue that could affect our sector that we should all be aware of?

We want you to share your learnings and advice. We want your food for thought, your podcast recommendations, your engagement. This is what will bring the community to life.

What’s your ultimate goal for the Clear Horizon Community?

We’re hoping it’s a place where we can help make evaluation accessible to everyone so we can  drive greater impact together.

To join the Clear Horizon Community and see what’s on offer, visit: https://www.clearhorizonacademy.com/community