Empowering Nonprofits Through Data

EIA News

Observations and Inspiration from Chari Smith

Case Study: Northwest Housing Alternatives

March 21st, 2019

  What does your program do? Answering this seemingly simple question is where the program evaluation planning process always starts. To measure something, you first have to define it. When you apply an evaluative lens to a program, a new way of thinking about it emerges. Take for example the work I recently completed with […]

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Logic Models: A Conceptual Map

January 6th, 2019

When some people hear the term logic model, a nervous quiver runs through their spine: flashbacks to a painful and frustrating logic model development experience. Unfortunately, experiences like this have given this term a bad rap, so it’s OK to call it something else: program impact model, evaluation map, program planning and evaluation map, and so […]

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Funders & Evaluation: A Tension or Opportunity?

December 7th, 2018

This sentence from Prentice Zinn’s December 2017 AEA365 blog post really piqued my interest. Zinn discusses common areas of tension such as lack of funding for evaluation and outcomes anxiety. I appreciate this perspective, and believe some tension may stem from the feeling that evaluation is a mandate rather than something grantees want to do. The difference […]

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Data Visualization + Evaluation Findings = Effective Reporting

November 2nd, 2018

How I write program evaluation reports has evolved over the years. Text and tables is what I was taught, with lots and lots of details – resulting in lots and lots of pages. Fast forward a few years. I still write the traditional technical report, with a little more visualization than in the past. I […]

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Creating Measurable Outcomes

September 5th, 2018

Outcome statements are change statements. They are critical to ensure you are collecting data that will inform program improvement efforts. They address the key question: What do you expect will change as a result of program activities? The statements provide the foundation from which all data collection questions will stem. Too often, organizations jump into […]

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Collaboration in Action

July 19th, 2018

Collaboration is a reoccurring theme in what I tell my clients to do. It’s just as important for me as a practitioner to continue to collaborate with fellow evaluators. I recently came across the Evaluation Wrecking Crew on an AEA 365blog post tip of the day. I’ve worked with several Science, Technology, Engineering and Math […]

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Chari’s plan and coaching for evaluation over time helped create a data-driven culture within our team...

"Chari helped us take our broad program, which serves a wide range of people with a variable menu of services, and distill it down to the places where we have the most ability to create change within our participants’ lives. In addition to cultivating effective tools, Chari’s plan and coaching for evaluation over time helped create a data-driven culture within our team that we had not been able to capture before. We received two of our largest grants to date as a direct result of our collaboration with her."

Julia Doty, Director of Resident Services, Northwest Housing Alternatives

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