Why “What’s the best tool to measure the effectiveness of X?” is totally the wrong question

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Time after time in online discussion groups I see questions like this one:

“What are the best tools to measure the effectiveness of [insert any program, policy, or initiative]?”

It’s a classic case of thinking evaluation is merely measurement, and measurement gives you the answers.

Many managers and non-evaluators think like this – that

Read the whole post –> Why “What’s the best tool to measure the effectiveness of X?” is totally the wrong question

The Friday Funny: Understanding different perspectives across language (and species) barriers

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One of the great challenges as an evaluator is understanding the perspectives of various stakeholders, especially those for whom there are communication challenges and language barriers.

Here’s a cute example from Michelle’s Joke Vault illustrating the different perspectives of cats and dogs on life with humans …

Dog and Cat Diaries

image from

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The Friday Funny: Why did the chicken cross the road?

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This classic was posted to EVALTALK in 2000 by Van Johncox (original author unknown) – who was good enough to draw out the lessons for genuine evaluation (below, under Frame of Reference). We’ve added a few extras from a more recent (2006) version found on Commonplace Book. Enjoy!

The following anecdotes about “Why the

Read the whole post –> The Friday Funny: Why did the chicken cross the road?