Anecdata

Newscaster in Television Studio

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Posted by: Jane Davidson

Looking for a new buzzword to toss into the conversation next time you are socializing with your favorite evaluators or clients? How about this one:

anecdata (noun). information which is presented as if it is based on serious research but is in fact based on what someone thinks is true

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The Friday Funny: New Age terrorists develop homeopathic bomb

homeopathic-bomb

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In evaluation it is always important to ensure not just that the facts are reported correctly, but that the key messages are also accurate.

A while back we posted a little gem to illustrate this point, all about the dangers of a lethal compound known as dihydrogen monoxide. You may recall that this colorless,

Read the whole post –> The Friday Funny: New Age terrorists develop homeopathic bomb

More utterly uncritical media reporting of evaluation

As an evaluator, or even as an interested member of the public, what very basic fundamental information would you expect to see in a newspaper article that kicked off like this? Chiefs get good marks even if departments don’t Public sector leaders are mostly embracing challenges thrown to them by the Government, though at least one is “lost at sea”, a report says. The Trans Tasman Media report, which ranks government agencies and bosses, has found that chief executives are generally performing better than their departments.

Read the whole post –> More utterly uncritical media reporting of evaluation

An apple a day – or cherry-picking the studies?

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Why can’t newspapers be more critical when they report findings from research and evaluation, and provide easy links to more details?

A new study by researchers from Australia’s major government research instution (the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation – CSIRO) , reviewing the health effects of eating apples, has received the usual standard

Read the whole post –> An apple a day – or cherry-picking the studies?

‘Fast failure’ and Work-Out: Organizational cultures that support learning from failure

Learning from failure has received very little attention in evaluation, but the management literature has been discussing it since the 1990s. The real challenge is building an organizational culture where not only is experimentation encouraged, but it is not necessarily a career-limiting move to produce failures, mistakes, and negative results. Organizational leaders have a huge part to play in setting the tone and showing through their actions that learning from failure is important. And for government agencies in particular, the media has an important part to play in supporting rather than undermining genuine evaluation.

Read the whole post –> ‘Fast failure’ and Work-Out: Organizational cultures that support learning from failure