Systems Thinking for Evaluation Workshop

Janice Noga 24 August 2011 Wellington NZ

In August this year, I attended an excellent Systems Thinking for Evaluation Workshop in Wellington, sponsored by AES (the Australasian Evaluation Society) and facilitated by Jan Noga of Pathfinder Evaluation and Consultancy, Cincinnati.

The workshop melded the systems and evaluation fields by teaching a basic toolbox of concepts for applying systems thinking to evaluation practice.

Jan was an engaging presenter bridging systems thinking/theory with evaluation practice and grounded practical examples.

Thanks Jan we look forward to welcoming you back to New Zealand for the next round.

Kathleen Palmer, Judy Oakden and Anne Alkema

Jan is delivering a workshop with Margaret Hargreaves at the 2011 AEA (American Evaluation Association) Conference in Anaheim, Tuesday, November 1, 9 AM to 4 PM.

2 thoughts on “Systems Thinking for Evaluation Workshop

  1. Hi Nan and fellow blog-followers,
    Are you able to provide any recommendations for resources re conducting participatory, capacity-building evaluations with Aboriginal people in remote communities? I’m returning to a community to conduct a follow-up evaluation and am very keen to get interested locals involved as co-researchers/ evaluators (it was a limitation in our approach last time).
    Any suggestions on how best to approach this (e.g. select community members, decide on roles, implement, teach and learn etc) would be much appreciated as I’m flying a little blind on this one. Of course, sourcing funding to remunerate co-researchers is also an issue, so again, tips are most welcomed!
    Thanks in advance.

    • Are you familiar with the National Health and Medical Research Council Publications.
      Keeping Research on Track: A guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about health research ethics
      They are pragmatic, based on practice and separate sections/booklets for Researchers and for Indigenous Communities.

      I think one of the key things in doing work with and in Indigenous communities is to find a community link or contact – they will be a highly networked / connected person in the community and likely to have some influence. This is the first person you need to find. Ideally you would find one or two people like this, but one for a start. They may or may not be the person who actually works alongside you, but will be able to identify and connect you to other people in the community who might be willing, interested etc.

      How do you find them. In multiple ways ideally.
      Through the programme manager, or other agency people associated with the programme.
      Through other people involved in the programme or initial.
      They may have a community or public profile.

      Before you run off asking everyone:
      – you need to have a clear idea about what you would like from them; what you would like them to do.
      Remembering they may not have research skills but they will /should have good community knowledge, networks, community navigation skills, able to facilitate community entry, perhaps secure participation.
      – you also need to be clear about what you can offer share with them.
      I’m not necessarily talking about money, although this is nice, but the chance to support their community, tell their story, get the voice heard, showcase/celebrate success, and the opportunity to grow their research and other skills.

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