David Keyes joins Carolyn and Brian to talk about R – the open-source statistical package, that is, not the letter (or the pirate vocalization). Once we got past Brian’s bad pun, we discussed the benefits of using code, how to get started with R, and using the software to help communicate results. We also learned that R is not just a tool for statisticians and that there’s a welcoming online community of folks helping newbies and creating equity-focused tools. Come for the statistical package, stay for the community!
This episode brings the evaluation joy with the blue-collar scholar and aspiring academic stand-up comedian, Dr. Nicole Bowman, of Bowman Performance Consulting. Nicky joins us to talk about evaluation as medicine and how we can heal ourselves, our communities, and our world through the service of evaluation. Nicky shares how she’s figuring this out in her own practice and lays down some fundamentals that all evaluators need to know about the context of our work. We get into practical ways to try new things and do evaluation differently, touch on imposter syndrome and the importance of working in community, and we laugh. A lot. Come listen and be “crazy in love with evaluation” with us!
We’ve mentioned it in passing in multiple episodes, but today we go into a deep dive on the Evaluation for Social Change and Transformational Learning program (course? certificate?) offered through Simon Fraser University. Joining us in this conversation are Kim van der Woerd (also our first repeat guest!), Billie Joe Rogers, and Sofia Vitalis from Reciprocal Consulting to share their perspectives as designers and instructors in the program’s first year. We talk about personal and social transformations, the intertwining of evaluation and leadership, the weaponization of data, and the importance of saying hello to a problem before you can say goodbye to it.
Grab your favourite art supplies and summon up your creative muse! In this episode, we’re joined by Andy Johnson, the other co-founder of Creative Evaluation & Engagement (along with his wife, Nora Murphy Johnson, who joined us a few episodes back to talk about evaluating from the heart) to talk about arts-based evaluation and bringing creativity into our evaluation practice. We learn about how Andy has brought poetry, theatre, kinetic sculpture and more into his evaluation methodology, how being a novelist helps him and his clients understand and work in complexity, the difference between prototyping and rehearsal, why evaluators need to channel our inner MacGyvers, and how an attention to arts, creativity, and the whole person can help us move evaluation toward equity and justice.
In this episode, Carolyn and Brian are joined by Michael Quinn Patton for a deep dive into principles-focused evaluation (PFE). Despite some technical glitches en route, we persisted to discuss the relation of PFE to social innovation, examples of how principles are being used, the role of reflection in PFE, and how our grad school statistics class would be different if we took it today.
Rita Fierro (of Fierro Consulting LLC and DrRitaWrites.com), a multifaceted practitioner of evaluation and facilitation, joins Brian and Carolyn on a deep exploration of the fractal nature of social transformation, trauma and healing, and how our evaluation practices can weave through these complex spaces. From the pursuit of “beloved community” to how we handle our own healing work to working with leaders and being leaders ourselves to what stories we tell and want to be telling to vicarious trauma in evaluation work to what it means to embrace our emotions without letting them drive, we cover it all.
In theory, this episode was a chance for us to review how we’re doing with our intentions for 2019. And we get there, we promise! En route, we discuss what comes after March Madness, Carolyn’s inability to unsubscribe from email lists, Brian’s allergic reaction to the SMART acronym, and crises singular and collective. We also get a (non-) update from Brian on the Year of the Trombone and Carolyn hosts a TED talk partway through. Plus, an #evalmemes challenge for our listeners!