The Friday Funny – interpreting evidence and lack of evidence

In a week of international differences in evaluation approaches, and Australia Day (26 Jan), this week’s Friday Funny comes from Kirsty Fenton, Senior Evaluation Officer with the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia.

It’s been a busy week for Patricia, traveling from The Evaluators Institute and the seminar on ‘Strengthening the Effectiveness of Evaluation in

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The Friday Funny: Clueless consumer feedback

Why are evaluation and needs assessment NOT simply a matter of reporting what people said they needed, or what they said met or didn’t meet their needs?

This classic, which has done the rounds on the Internet for many years, lists actual comments apparently left in 1996 on U. S. Forest Service registration sheets and

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How much evidence is needed for policy?

In the last few days before the Australian federal election, a curious $5million advertising campaign has been launched which claims to be advocating evidence-based policy but does nothing of the kind. .

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What you measure and how you measure it – the Greek financial example

A salutary reminder that just because things are measured precisely (such as money) doesn’t mean that the measurements are valid or useful. As reported by Louise Story, Landon Thomas Jr and Nelson D. Schwartz, in the New York Times on 13 Feb 2010 :

As in the American subprime crisis and the implosion of the

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Why genuine evaluation must include causal inference

Is it OK to just document whatever changes happen to people over the life of the program and summarize these in an evaluation report under a heading called “Outcomes”? What if you point out in a disclaimer that you haven’t got any evidence that the program contributed to them? What if you don’t exactly call them “outcomes”? What if it’s just a low-budget evaluation? Answers: No, no, no, and NO! Here’s why …

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