consulting

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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Oct 31 2017

Lessons from the regions

Having recently returned from a 10 day road trip around regional Victoria I am reflecting on the lessons that can be learned when consulting with communities in small towns. This is because the turn-out to my scheduled consultation meetings was lower than I had hoped. My road trip was a mid-point reading on the mood […]

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Jul 26 2017

Evaluation or research?

Sometimes research and evaluation can be confused or conflated. When commissioning a project it is important to be clear about whether you require research or evaluation. Because, despite them being related and sharing some common approaches, they are different disciplines that result in considerably different outcomes. I have identified five ways in which research and […]

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Nov 28 2016

KPIs: Key Performance Indicators? Or perhaps not so key?

KPIs: Key Performance Indicators. Surely they’re the most relevant indicator when conducting an evaluation, right? KPIs are widely known and used in the business world. They are known as measurement values that demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving its key business objectives. KPIs are typically quantifiable measures that are used to track and assess […]

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Nov 14 2016

Cause and effect: why does it matter?

Causation can be a basic concept in everyday life. If you slip on a banana peel you will likely fall, therefore it makes logical sense to say that the presence of a banana peel in your path caused you to fall. But things can also get more complex than that. If you think about what […]

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Oct 26 2016

Evaluation in the regional arts sector – current thinking

In the last decade or so, regional arts programs have been designed to be powerful tools with which to engage communities in various levels of change. They have been delivered to address regional renewal, health outcomes, quality of life, sense of place, transformation, social development and marginalisation. Yet, the literature reveals deficiencies in the quality […]

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Sep 14 2016

Community Panels: consistent consultation in small regional towns

Consulting with communities over the long-term in small regional towns in Australia presents similar challenges to consultation in cities. How do you target the right people for consultation? How do you keep people engaged for long-term projects?
 It is a myth that small towns folk have more time on their hands than their busy city […]

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Jul 27 2016

Cause and effect. Is qualitative evidence legitimate?

The exploration of causal pathways is compelling in evaluation and sometimes central. Investigating cause and effect and can be the only way of providing evidence that a program or initiative can be directly attributable to a particular outcome. To understand causal pathways is useful in telling a story of a program and is essential in […]

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May 10 2016

4 benefits of planning evaluations early

Evaluations of programs and initiatives may serve various purposes when conducted at different times in the program’s life. Depending on what you would like to assess, you may wish to conduct an evaluation before the program to collect baseline information to help plan the program, during the program to identify progress and challenges, or after […]

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