GOOD

How Might We Put People at the Center of Evaluation?

\r\n\r\nAs a design and innovation consultancy built on the notion of putting people at the center of the design process, taking a...




As a design and innovation consultancy built on the notion of putting people at the center of the design process, taking a human-centered approach to evaluation is critical for IDEO. We saw a great example of this when we spent time with IDE in Ethiopia, where Monitoring and Evaluation specialists spend time walking the fields with farmers and connect their personal stories to the data about them.

When evaluating the effectiveness of a program, quantitative data alone does not convey enough meaning, and typically leaves us with many questions. Numbers are, of course, necessary, but shouldn't be relied on alone. Statistics should be complemented by deep stories of the impacts on an individual, family, or a community, and we should spend as much time thinking about how to effectively craft these stories as we do focusing on how to present the numbers.

Putting people at the center of evaluation means connecting with them on a personal level. We do this by spending time with people in the field-observing them at their homes or while doing their jobs. We build trust in the communities by working with local partners and even doing homestays in rural villages. As we get to know people, we gather richer and richer stories about their lives. And as we test prototypes of various innovations, we look to understand how it actually changes people's lives.

When we worked with VisionSpring to design eye "camps" for children in rural India, we created a number of different procedures. We observed children as they went through the eye testing process, and talked with them about how to improve it. A few children started crying as soon as they sat down to get their eyes checked, because the pressure of the equipment on their faces was too great when the test was conducted by an adult. However, when they were given the opportunity to test the eyes of their classmates, the same children were confident and excited. The feedback they sought from children and teachers (including the personal stories about the children who got glasses and were now able to succeed in school) allowed VisionSpring to continue to conduct the eye camps, with better results.

So now we put these questions to you: How have you put people at the center of evaluation? How have you reconciled raw data with human stories? What strategies have you used to measure impact beyond quantitative analysis? Can you think of any realms-education, the prison system come to mind-where evaluation could stand to be less number-centric?

Jocelyn Wyatt leads IDEO's Social Impact domain. On Friday, look for a response on this topic from Hallie Preskill, director of the Strategic Learning and Evaluation Center at FSG Social Impact Advisors.

Articles
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
"IMG_0846" by Adrienne Campbell is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In an effort to avoid a dystopian sci-fi future where Artificial Intelligence knows pretty much everything about you, and a team of cops led by Tom Cruise run around arresting people for crimes they did not commit because of bad predictive analysis; Bernie Sanders and other Democratic candidates have some proposals on how we can stop it.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

It's fun to go to a party, talk to strangers, and try to guess where they're from just by their accents and use of language. It's called 'soda' on the East Coast and 'pop' in the Midwest, right? Well, it looks like a new study has been able to determine where a Humpback whale has been and who he's been hanging out with during his awesome travels just from his song.

Keep Reading Show less
Science
Governor Grethcen Whitmer / Twitter

In 2009, the U.S. government paid $50 billion to bail out Detroit-based automaker General Motors. In the end, the government would end up losing $11.2 billion on the deal.

Government efforts saved 1.5 million jobs in the United States and a sizable portion of an industry that helped define America in the twentieth century.

As part of the auto industry's upheaval in the wake of the Great Recession, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) made sacrifices in contracts to help put the company on a solid footing after the government bailout.

Keep Reading Show less
via Jimmy Kimmel / YouTube

Fake news is rampant on the internet. Unscrupulous websites are encouraged to create misleading stories about political figures because they get clicks.

A study published by Science Advances found that elderly conservatives are, by far, the worst spearders of fake news. Ultra conservatives over the age of 65 shared about seven times more fake information on social media than moderates and super liberals during the 2016 election.

Get ready for things to get worse.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture