Developmental evaluation is gaining interest in the evaluation, service and policy community, but do these newfound fans know what they are getting when they ask for it? Grasping the fundamentals of development as opposed to growth is one of the foundations to its utility.
Politics provides a great analogy for why systems thinking and design fit together and how effective “design” and systems thinking work so closely together. It’s time that our politicians and policy makers start considering the role of design and systems thinking a little more and Egypt provides a great example of what happens when those areas come together.
Science strives for precision and finding the right or at least the best answers to questions. The science of complexity means shifting our thinking from right answers to appropriate ones and what is best to good. The recent debate over parenting (particularly among Chinese families) illustrates how framing the issue and the outcomes makes a big difference. Is Amy Chua’s method of parenting successful or not, supportive or harmful, right or wrong? The answer is yes.
Design thinking includes principles that demand inclusion of multiple perspectives on the problem, collaborative ideation, and purposeful wandering through a subject matter. It’s time to fit to evaluation has come.
What a design-oriented approach to evaluation does is greatly enhance the participant’s sense of the whole, what the needs and desires and fears both parties are dealing with, not just the executive or rational elements. More importantly, this strategy looks at how these different components might interact by simulating a condition in which they might play out.
Over the next few days I’ll be attending the American Evaluation Association conference in San Antonio, Texas. The conference, the biggest gathering of evaluators in the world. Depending on the Internet connections, I will try to do some live tweeting from my @cdnorman and some blogging reflections along the way, so do follow along if …
Today I’ll be wrapping up a two-day kick off to an initiative aimed at building a community of practice around Developmental Evaluation (PDF), working closely with DE leader and chief proponent, Michael Quinn Patton. The initiative, founded by the Social Innovation Generation group, is designed in part to bring a cohort of learners (or fellows? …
Developmental evaluation is an emerging area of practice that builds evaluation methods on the science of complexity and fits with the realities of social and health programs, rather than trying to fit the wrong type of model on to the wrong type of program.