In early June, I was asked by the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) and the Zenex Foundation to host an Evaluation Seminar facilitated by Professor Laurie Stevahn. She spent three hours with approximately 40 participants representing SAMEA members and including government employees, donors and practitioners.
Prof Stevahn is at Seattle University, teaching in the doctoral programme in the Faculty of Education, and is an expert evaluator. She has written four books, but the workshop especially focussed on techniques she wrote about in Interactive Evaluation Practice: Mastering the Interpersonal Dynamics of Program Evaluation.
She took the participants through a fabulous interactive workshop introducing 7 of her 13 interactive techniques for evaluators. For example she placed photos cut out from magazines on the table and each of us, using technique #6 “making metaphors” had to choose a picture to explain the metaphor related to our work. This technique could be used to describe a programme being evaluated.
In another technique, #13, dot votes/bar graphs were created on the spot reflecting participant perceptions. I’ve used #12, cooperative rank order, already for an evaluation where I asked each of the respondents to come up with one recommendation and the group then cooperatively ranked the resulting recommendations in terms of priority and feasibility.
For those who were not able to attend the workshop, Prof Stevahn has graciously provided her template with all 13 techniques, which South African evaluators can use. We are very grateful for her inputs and I know I will be using these techniques in future.