Blog

May 4 2020

Save Your Survey

Do you work in the arts, cultural or not-for-profit sector in Australia’s regions and cities? If so, you’re no doubt  experiencing considerable stress at the moment, amidst a pandemic that has resulted in the cancellation of everything, accompanied by widespread job losses, not to mention Australia’s recent devasasting bushfire season. You may currently have important […]

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Mar 20 2020

From a distance. Evaluation in the era of social distancing

No one needs reminding we’re entering challenging financial times and need to practice social distancing. It’s possible that your evaluation plans may need to be pared back or reconfigured. But there are ways that your evaluation project can still be carried out without compromising its validity. 1. Modify the evaluation design Ask your evaluator if […]

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Mar 3 2020

Avoiding positive bias

As evaluators, it is sometimes clear at the outset of a project that there is an expectation of positive outcomes and recommendations that will lead to projects leveraging ongoing funding (perhaps from government, philanthropic organisation, social enterprise or other foundations). There are even times when this is explicitly articulated in the project brief. Evaluators may […]

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Feb 12 2020

Yes, please be judgemental

Evaluation is a field in which we encourage judgement. Rather than living by the ‘Please don’t be so judgemental’ mantra, evaluation is about judgement. It involves pulling all of the empirical data together and making a call. Making a judgement in evaluation goes from the ‘what is so’ (typical of research), to the ‘so what’. […]

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Jan 27 2020

5 things we learned from Black Saturday

Here in Australia we are living through our longest and most devastating bushfire season we’ve experienced. The statistics around numbers of affected communities, the extent of habitat and wildlife loss are staggering. The NSW, Victorian and Australian Governments are responding with disaster assistance in a range of forms. Whether that assistance is offered in the […]

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Nov 13 2019

When to make an impact

You’ve delivered a government program or initiative with specific objectives in mind and now you ask yourself: “What was the impact of this program? How can an evaluation answer this question?” You’re right in leaning towards evaluation to answer your question about impact. But is this the right time? Have you let enough time pass […]

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Aug 22 2019

The power of the pre-test / post-test

This week I visited my old school, Fort Street High in Petersham, Sydney. I wasn’t there for nostalgic reasons. Rather, I had the good fortune of sitting in on a documentary screening for Years 9 and 10 science students. Three hundred or so students filed into the hall to be shown the recently-released BBC documentary, […]

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May 2 2019

Collaborating with regional communities

It’s well understood now that arts and culture make regional Australia a better place. Communities thrive when people come together to share stories, reflect on a common history, and build social inclusion through arts and cultural activity. Last year NSF Consulting was commissioned by Regional Arts Australia to research and prepare a guidelines document to […]

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Apr 15 2019

Evaluating transformation

I’m currently ensconced in report writing for an evaluation project. That is not an uncommon situation to be in, as I work as a program evaluator and consultant. But this project is different; it is more challenging than many, as it poses some big theoretical questions. I am evaluating  Small Town Transformations; an initiative of […]

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Feb 5 2019

The importance of logic

The Logic Model: A supermodel applying logic to ponder something important? No, we are talking matters less hedonistic, although crucially important in the evaluation process. A Logic Model is an important tool to help set up a robust and meaningful evaluation. The process of developing a Program Logic Model is an important first step carried […]

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