Evaluation: Thinking Beyond Measurement

Evaluation is more than measurement. Good evaluation provides clear answers to important questions, so that action can be taken. Evaluation answers questions about how good something is, and whether it is good enough (Davidson, 2013). Explicit evaluative reasoning gives us the means to provide valid, transparent answers to those questions. The following diagram illustrates one form of evaluative reasoning in practice. (Click on the diagram to expand)

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Value for investment e-book

At the core of both economics (the study of how people choose to use resources) and evaluation (the systematic determination of quality or value) is a shared interest in valuing resource use for social betterment. Yet economics and evaluation tend to operate as complementary or competing disciplines rather than being integrated within an overarching logic. Is there a better way? Yes! This e-book proposes an evaluation-specific approach to evaluating value for money in social programs, using explicit evaluative reasoning together with economic methods of evaluation.

This e-book is based on my article in the American Journal of Evaluation: King, J., (2017). Using Economic Methods Evaluatively.

Click to download.

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Bradford Hill Criteria for Causal Inference

One of the great challenges in evaluation is determining whether the results we’re seeing are because of the program we’re evaluating, some other influences out there in the big world, or random chance. I think the Bradford Hill Criteria offer a good checklist to use in evaluation when we have to consider the balance of real-world, messy evidence to make well reasoned judgments about causation.

Click to download.

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Stakeholder engagement guidance for impact investors

The World Economic Forum brought together a group of individuals (including yours truly) and organisations to develop guidance on how impact investors can include the voices of affected stakeholders into their impact investments and organisational activities, and how they can respond to those voices. This document suggests some of the many ways in which the voices of all affected stakeholders can be gathered, and then used to draw lessons, inform decisions, and develop strong relationships with stakeholders. It references existing tools, resources and examples of practice.

Download here: WEF AG3 – Engaging all affected stakeholders – December 2017.

What fuel were you made to run on?

A few years ago I became curious about the world of nutrition science, after 40-something years of ignoring it completely. Why are we humans becoming worse and worse at maintaining our weight and metabolic health? Why are our bodies’ homeostatic (self-regulating) mechanisms failing us? The published evidence is complex. But if we stand back a bit, some pretty clear patterns emerge. Our industrial diet of processed food is a major contributor to our pandemic of obesity, type 2 diabetes and related illnesses. Sugar, refined carbohydrates and seed oils are ubiquitous in our food supply and we’re overdosing without knowing it. They are reducing our quality of life, driving up our health care costs, and killing us.

Recommended reading 

Noakes, Tim & Sboros, Marika (2017). Lore of Nutrition: Challenging Conventional Dietary Beliefs. 

Fung, Jason (2016). The Obesity Code – Unlocking the secrets of weight loss (reviewed here)

Schofield, G., Zinn, C., Rodger, C. (2015). What the Fat? http://whatthefatbook.com/buy/

Lustig, R. Sugar: The Bitter Truthhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

Lagakos, William (2012). The Poor, Misunderstood Calorie. http://caloriesproper.com/the-book/

Minger, D. (2014). Death By Food Pyramid. http://www.amazon.com/Death-Food-Pyramid-Politics-Interests/dp/0984755128

Teicholz, N. (2014). The Big Fat Surprise. http://thebigfatsurprise.com/about-the-big-fat-surprise/

Gillespie, D. (2015) Eat Real Food. http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Real-Food-David-Gillespie-ebook/dp/B00QGEA1AS

Prof Grant Schofield: http://profgrant.com/author/gschofie/

See also: http://profgrant.com/2014/04/23/the-real-food-guidelines/

George Henderson’s blog: http://hopefulgeranium.blogspot.co.nz/

Mikki Williden’s blog: http://mikkiwilliden.com/

The Noakes Foundation: http://www.thenoakesfoundation.org/

Sugar Science – an authoritative sources for evidence-based, scientific information about sugar and its impact on health. http://sugarscience.org/

Authority Nutrition: http://authoritynutrition.com/

Gary Fettke No Fructose: http://www.nofructose.com/

Eating Academy: http://eatingacademy.com/

Gary Taubes: http://garytaubes.com/

Nutrition Science Initiative: http://nusi.org/

Credit Suisse (2013). Sugar Consumption at a Crossroads. https://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/index.cfm?fileid=780BF4A8-B3D1-13A0-D2514E21EFFB0479

Ioannadis, J.P.A. (2005). Why most published research findings are false. PLoS Med 2(8):e124. http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.0020124

 

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