Reconciliation Week and findings from an Aboriginal health evaluation

Six years ago I worked with colleagues to evaluate a health program operating in five Western Australian communities where Aboriginal people were chronically under-served. The state government funded mainstream organisations to employ Aboriginal community workers, conduct healthy lifestyle activities and …

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Evaluation amidst complexity: 8 questions evaluators should ask

Many of Social Dimensions’ assignments concern evaluating a project that wasn’t working as expected.  Often, the reason is for the lackluster or surprising performance is that the implementers were trying to change behaviour within a complex adaptive system. For the …

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Measure what you treasure

India-based evaluator Katherine Hay gave a recent talk exhorting international development agencies to think about what is most important and make that the measure of success. She challenged her audience to consider if India’s phenomenal economic growth was really more …

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Realist evaluations: a tool for repairing programs

There are so many evaluation tools to pick from and none are right for every job. Everyone who runs a social service or a community program wants it to make a difference. We want recipients to be healthier, more successful …

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My highlights from 2012–it’s all about information

I was part of some wonderful projects in 2012.  As I wrote my personal highlights from a third year as a consultant, I realised it was all about information: from how Twitter is helping me to learn new tricks to …

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Nudging our way to better land use management

Northern Agricultural Catchments Council, better known as NACC, enhances the natural resources of the Mid West by motivating land managers to adopt environmentally sustainable practices.  Changing behaviour is never easy, especially when you are talking about peoples’ livelihoods. NACC knows it …

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What do you want to know?

Peter and I did some big picture talking with Jenny Rolston, the Customer Service Manager for City of Greater Geraldton this week. This May Social Dimensions will be surveying residents and City staff to find out what they want to …

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Four tips for the mobile consultant

In the 1980s and 1990s I had a lot of opportunities to travel. I worked in Bangladesh for three years and then, based in Brisbane, I did international health consultancies through Southeast Asia and the Pacific.  I still regularly visit …

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