I’ve gotten asked a few times (not least of which was me asking myself) why I choose to write this blog. This past week I actually sat down to think about this question, not only so I can have a clear and succinct answer to give to people, but also to motivate myself to continue to research and write, even if the only time I have to do that is after midnight on days before I have to get up at 6am to get ready for work. I reconnected with my belief that self- and organizational-evaluation is a critical part of creating and continually delivering positive social impact. I also thought about how when I started writing this blog this summer, my vision was for it to become a meeting place where people could exchange information and best practices, celebrate wins and help each other through struggles, and to build a database and data warehouse for leaders to reference when considering evaluation and social impact assessment.
Then I read the Vision for The Evaluation Exchange, a periodical that comes from the Harvard Family Research Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education: “We publish The Evaluation Exchange based on the belief that policies and programs must be grounded in continuous and actionable learning. Evaluation is one crucial tool in this learning process, and its power to inform and transform needs to be shared broadly.” While The Evaluation Exchange has a stated focus on programs and policies specifically related to children, families, and communities, the idea is the same – let’s get talking and sharing and learning from each other about assessment.
Their issues are all free and archived – I’m about to dig into Volume XI, Number 2, from the summer of 2005, which has a topic of Evaluation Methodology. Hopefully it will have tons of great information that I can share here in a future post.
I’m tempted to change the name of my blog to the Social Impact Assessment Exchange. Right now it is just me sharing everything I can find on SIA with anyone who can find me. I’d love to get some more people/organizations on this project… (that ellipses is where YOU come in!)