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Monday, September 16 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
The evaluation box needs more pictures: A multidisciplinary approach to reducing words and numbers for evaluation capacity building (ECB)

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Samantha Abbato  (Visual Insights People), Margi MacGregor (CatholicCare NT),  Jayne LLoyd (CatholicCare NT)

Effective communication channels are an essential part of successful ECB. Written materials about evaluation processes, and learning are components of Preskill and Boyles multidisciplinary model of ECB (2008). But ten years on from the publication of this model, mainstream communication methods have changed rapidly with an increasing dominance of digital images and videos. For example, regularly most of us now use images with short captions to share information and experiences and watch online videos for learning how to do something from making a meal to fixing a broken appliance. Furthermore, recent reports by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that 43 percent of Australians have low levels of literacy and an increasing diversity of languages other than English. So it's high time we swapped some of our written words for out of the box strategies if we are to be serious about building ECB in organisations.

Borrowing multidisciplinary tools from graphic communication, videography and systems thinking we present the development pictorial toolkit for ECB of a large state-wide community organisation. The organisation comprises one-third staff from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and a number from CALD backgrounds. The co-designed toolkit is the major communication tool for learning and "doing" the evaluation for all staff of the organisation.

The central component of this toolkit is a color A3 poster explaining the entire organisational monitoring, evaluation and learning process with pictures and symbols. Evaluation of the poster shows that staff across the organisation:
  • Engage with organisational colors, images of their locations of work and activities;
  • Understand the evaluation process and method and how these link to their work practice through simple symbols and icons;
  • Can explain the evaluation process and method to each other using the poster;
  • Staff ownership of images is more important than perfect pictures.
Key steps for increasing ECB success through pictorial communication are discussed.

avatar for Margaret Moon

Margaret Moon

Senior Project Officer, SafeWork NSW
I manage the evaluation program at SafeWork NSW. This involves commissioning evaluations of programs designed to improve safety in NSW and building evaluation capacity across the organisation. I have previously worked as a film editor at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, as... Read More →

avatar for Samantha Abbato

Samantha Abbato

Director, Visual Insights People
Dr. Samantha Abbato is an evaluation consultant and Director of Visual Insights. Sam has a passion for maximising evaluation use through effective communication and evaluation skill building using a pictures and stories approach and increasing the academic rigour of evidence.Sam’s... Read More →
avatar for Margi MacGregor

Margi MacGregor

Evaluation Systems Manager, CatholicCare NT
CatholicCare NT is currently in the final stages of a cultural shift in relation to evaluation. We have been guided and supported by Samantha Abbato from Visual Insights People, who has made the journey engaging for staff at all levels. As we move towards refining our qualitative... Read More →

Monday September 16, 2019 3:30pm - 4:00pm AEST