Saturday, October 30, 2010

Networks of Self-Categorised Stories

Rick Davies, developer and manager of MandE website, discusses an interesting technique to analyze stories generated from his Most Significant Change method for program/project evaluation. He calls the technique, Networks of Self-Catorgoris(z)ed Stories.

This technique illustrates several of the future trends in evaluation highlighted by Michael Patton in a webinar that I mentioned in an earlier post: transdiscipline (graph theory, content analysis), systems thinking (interdependence), and complex concepts (emergent categories). An illustration of networks of self-categorisation by Rick is below.

For most people in the field, the most challenging aspect of this technique will be obtaining the UCINET (by Analytic Technologies) software, which must be purchased and takes some time to comfortably use, but can quickly and easily generate two-mode data. However, the software, Netdraw, which graphs the data can be download, installed and used for free.

Michael Quinn Patton: Future Trends in Evaluation

On the website, My M&E, in the Webniars page, under the title, Developing Capacities for Country M&E Systems, you can find an informative webinar by Michael Quinn Patton who discusses future trends in program and/or project evaluation.

The webinar was recorded using Elluminate and therefore when you click on the link, if you computer does not already have the most up-to-date Java script, it will download the Java script automatically, and the Elluminate interface will open.

If you are not interested in the opening remarks, you can move the playback slider forward to the 6:30 minute point, which is about where Michaels presentation begins. Also, at the end of the presentation Michael takes questions from an online, international audience.

In his presentation, Michael highlights 6 new trends in evaluation:
  1. Globalization of the evaluation profession.
  2. Evaluation as a transdiscipline.
  3. Increased political intent in accountability, performance, indicators and transparency.
  4. Growing interest on evaluation capacity-building and skill development.
  5. Debates about methods.
  6. Using system thinking and complex concepts.