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Mary Garvey

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Jara Dean-Coffey

Beth, thanks for sharing the latest thinking from Dr. Patton. It is interesting to see how thinking about evaluation has evolved over time.

Depending on when one entered the field and one's own experience, the notion that evaluation would have ever been non utilization focus is incongruous with the mission that many of us have with regard to making a difference and that "evaluation" is a helpful tool in service of that outcome.

Our work at jdcPartnerships uses an evaluative inquiry framework. We believe that the most effective evaluation reflects on-going structured inquiry, data collection, analysis, synthesis and decision-making that is integrated in to the fabric of the organization. Evaluative inquiry is a way of thinking and thus being that is not separated from program design or development but rather a part of the same whole. It engages the entire organization. Additional principles guiding our work include:

* Organizational context and practice shape the process and must be considered if meaningful inquiry, assessment, reflection and decision-making are to occur.
* Organizational learning is based on the intentional use of information to inform strategy, decisions and practices.
* Evaluative inquiry is a process and tool for informing and strengthening decisions, enhancing learning and increasing effectiveness.
* It is essential to be reality-based and consider current and future capacity and resources.

The conversation continues.

Beth Kanter

A colleague from New Zealand shared with me the following information:

I did also want to gently let you know another thing about the short clip. Language being what it is, words don't always have the same connotations in one place as in another. Now if I were to use the word native in Aotearoa New Zealand I'd get in trouble.... Maori are in fact tangata whenua, meaning people of the land or first peoples when forced to translate. The world indigenous has some resonance, but it's a second best choice. The word native is best to avoid.

I know you didn't mean any offence using the term native, especially as I believe indigenous peoples in the USA are known as native Americans.

I thought you'd be interested in this, as good communication is about understanding nuance and being open to alternative views on the world.

----------------

I want to apologize if I used the term native incorrectly. It is ironic, but I was tripping over the word "Maori" and thought if I used an alternate phrase I wouldn't offend anyone by saying the name incorrectly!

Aulina Adamy ST. MSc

Beth,

I just finished my Master in Science and now focusing research in evaluation especially in post-disaster projects. I'm planning to make an independent institution focusing in this matter and so far I'm very influenced by Dr. Patton. Do you know he is email address that I can contact him?

Thanks before.

Regards from Banda Aceh, Indonesia

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