The Friday Funny: How many evaluators does it take to change a light bulb?

Question: How many evaluators does it take to change a light bulb?

Answer:

One to do a needs assessment.

One to do a feasibility study.

One to do a qualitative study to find out what bulb to change.

One to empower the bulb to change.

One to tender a contract for further study.

One to write performance indicators for success.

One to do a cost-benefit analysis to determine the best light bulb to buy.

One to do a meta-evaluation showing that all previous studies have left everyone in the dark.

So………How many evaluators does it take?

None, actually. Evaluators don’t change light bulbs – that’s an implementation problem!

Original source unknown; posted on EVALTALK earlier this year by Mary Anne Scheirer

There are many other versions on EVALTALK that we’ll save for another time!

5 comments to The Friday Funny: How many evaluators does it take to change a light bulb?

  • Patricia Rogers

    And, for World Environment Day tomorrow (Sat 5 June http://www.unep.org/wed/2010/english/), we might add more evaluators:

    One to compare the triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental) costs and benefits of different types of light bulbs.

    One to compare the triple bottom line costs and benefits of different types of energy to produce the electricity for the light bulb.

    One to compare the triple bottom line costs and benefits of different ways of disposing of the old light bulb.

  • Oscar Gonzalez

    Great! I am an evaluator since 1986 and I believe that evaluation is an excellent QC tool. But today there are many clowns in the business that the joke so well portraits. This is giving a bad press to this discipline

  • Hi,

    I confess that I laughed and then cringed a bit. This is the perception of evaluation that I have spent my years practicing trying to overcome. I know it was posted this year but wonder the original source year. Hope it is not recent otherwise we have more work to do than I thought. In any event though, one has to be able to be reflective and laugh at oneself, so we are evolving!

  • Jane Davidson

    LOL, yes, it is pretty tragic, isn’t it? A search of the EVALTALK archives reveals several other light bulb jokes dating back to the 1990s, but I couldn’t find this specific one – maybe one of our readers can help trace the source or date.

  • Jane Davidson

    Aha! Patricia just found an earlier version of the joke, from 2008, on the AEA Health TIG’s blog.