consulting

Aug 3 2020

Let’s celebrate Local Government Week!

This week (3-9 August) is a time for local government areas across NSW to celebrate council services that extend beyond rubbish, roads, rates and rubbish to include areas such as arts and culture, the environment, public libraries, childcare centres, sporting facilities, building and development. There are even Local Government Week awards! Peak organisation, Local Government […]

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Jul 21 2020

4 things council staff need to know about evaluation

Program evaluation play a key role in supporting local government decision-making by helping council managers understand whether a program is working, for whom, in what context, when it’s not working, and why not. Except in larger LGAs, councils often have inadequate time and personnel to learn the specialist skills required to conduct evaluations. Additionally, the […]

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Jul 16 2020

Girgarre: a successful small town

Girgarre is a dynamic small town situated in the Shire of Campaspe in northern regional Victoria. It was featured on the ABC’s Backroads program just this week as a town transformed by the power of music. From 2016-2018, Girgarre was one of six small towns funded by the Victorian state government as part of the […]

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Jul 1 2020

4 takes and 4 tips!

I have just launched my first in a series of online evaluation courses. This opening course is tailored to the local government sector, in which I have extensive evaluation experience. You can see it HERE and even preview the first lesson without enrolling. The whole course creation process was new to me. It was a […]

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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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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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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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