“Lessons learned” is a worthy phrase that has lost its core meaning. This article, based on Michael Quinn Patton’s insightful review in 2001, may lead to learning about lessons learned. May it be so.
Click on this link → learning lessons about lessons learned
A conclusion is the answer to a specific question included in the evaluation design, or an interpretation of outcomes related to a particular information need.
In general discernment is the ability of an evaluator to see what is not obvious to the typical stakeholder. For transformative evaluation discernment goes beyond this to see what is right and wrong, good and evil, in the program from God’s perspective.
For a more detailed discussion go to page 19 in Evaluating Transformational Development Outcomes on this site. I encourage you to comment, perhaps starting a dialogue that will help me and others deepen understanding of this topic/issue.
The evaluation wheel is a graphic device for comparing evaluands on specific criteria. (Remember that an evaluand is a fancy word for whatever is being evaluated.) It is a versatile tool that can be used in a variety of ways:
- Individuals can use it to indicate strengths and weaknesses of their performance on some task over a period of time.
- As a group exercise it can illuminate differences in perceived strengths and weaknesses of something by the group members. A composite wheel is constructed from wheels completed by individuals.
- As a multi-group exercise it enables comparison of perceived strengths and weaknesses of something as perceived by the different groups.
My views on transformative evaluation have been informed much as I have struggled with maintaining a healthy tension between Christian worldview and science worldview. May this brief reflection on Psalm 20 be a blessing.
click this link → meditation5
Before leading an evaluation event meditate on Psalm 139.
* You will be in a better place as an instrument for transformation throughout the event.
* You will be in a better place to report truthfully about the merit and worth of the program after data collection and analysis.
Click this link → Meditation4
Revised June 23, 2014
I define a recommendation as a statement offered as worthy of acceptance or approval by stakeholders. Based on available evidence, knowledge and experience the evaluator is saying that it is reasonable for stakeholders to adopt the action included in the statement.
In transformative evaluation there are two types of recommendations. The first type is what you expect to see in any program evaluation report: description (based on evidence) of changes to implement to improve the chances that program goals and objectives will be achieved efficiently and effectively.
The second type is description of changes to increase the likelihood that the program will enable individual or social transformation regardless of the program goals and objectives.
In-depth prayerful reflection will enhance both types of recommendations.
Triangulating information is a critical skill for evaluating transformational development. This six-page attachment introduces this important concept.
Click this link → Tool triangulation
Program evaluators aim to document truth about a program. But what is truth?
For the Christian truth is the way of Jesus; see various passages in the Gospel of John and elsewhere.
Be blessed, Frank
Click this link → Meditation3
The story in Acts 6 about feeding the widows provokes reflection on the relationship between project objectives and broader project aims. May this meditation be a blessing for you.
Click this link → Meditation2
Transformational development (TD) is the evaluand for my approach to transformative evaluation (TE). My understanding of TD is based on the detailed description and analysis provided by Myers (1999, 2011)
I see two themes intertwined in TD. The first theme is the role of holistic thinking in planning and implementing TD. Holistic thinking is a mindset in which spiritual realities are inseparably interwoven with day-to-day “ordinary” living. In TD practitioners must think holistically to be influential servants of God for transformation.
The second theme is the conviction that this world is my home (Marshall, 1998). Transformation happens here and now, wherever we are on earth, not in whatever your image of heaven may be.
These themes are developed beginning on page 3, heading Transformational Development Themes, in Evaluating Transformational Development Outcomes on this site.
Engaging in evaluating TD has given me indescribable joy. May your thinking about TD be a blessing to you.
Marshall, Paul. (1998). Heaven is not my home: Learning to live in God’s creation. Nashville, Tennessee USA: Word.
Myers, Bryant L. (1999, 2011). Walking with the poor: Principles and practices of transformational development. Maryknoll, New York USA: Orbis Books.