August 30, 2007 - 2:44pm
Evaluation deals with public information and involves the engagement of many different communities. When our work requires we access these communities , we have the responsibility to be professional, use valid methods and share current information. To assist in this effort the American Evaluation Association developed the Guiding Principles for Evaluators to provide an ethical framework within which evaluators should provide services to the public.
August 29, 2007 - 3:14pm
research tidbits.jpg Welcome to Research Tidbits, a new monthly feature on the Inside Groove blog. Research Tidbits will highlight useful tips we’ve learned through the years at the Improve Group.
July 19, 2007 - 9:44am
magnifying glass.jpg The Improve Group has used secondary analysis in conducting quantitative analysis. Like focus groups and interviews, secondary analysis contributes to a comprehensive, in-depth understanding about the issues facing an organization and their participants. So, the Improve Group calls you to participate in secondary analysis– what exactly are you getting yourself into? What is secondary analysis?
July 2, 2007 - 11:33am
Improve Group staff are devoted to using evaluation to improve outcomes, so conducting a test presentation of our new workshop series seemed natural. On June 14th, 2007 we gave a pilot run of How Do I Know That: Creating tools to understand program outcomes and Inside Knowledge, Outside Perspective: Evaluating your organization form within.
June 22, 2007 - 11:56am

While participating in a recent training on human subject protection in research, I was struck by one topic that I would not have normally thought of as a thorny ethical dilemma. In our experience, incentives are usually determined by a balance of the resources an organization can give with what we (the researcher and the organization together) believe will encourage people to participate.

June 22, 2007 - 11:30am
Many of our clients have done previous strategic planning or evaluation projects, and are familiar with external consultants. Their previous experience sometimes lead them to expect to be somewhat removed from the project, with the consultant completing tasks independently.
May 21, 2007 - 4:34pm

A few weeks ago I wrote about evaluating programs designed to solve problems. In the blog I discussed logic models and how they can be used to understand a program, its activities and intended outcomes. Shortly after writing the blog, the U.S. congress began exploring how to define outcomes for the war in Iraq.

May 16, 2007 - 4:12pm
Our organizations, programs and services do not thrive in a vacuum; most collaborate with, or serve, other people and organizations. These other stakeholders can include clients, patients, board members, member organizations, or programs and organizations that contribute to the delivery of our goals. When conducting research or evaluation to inform decision-making, organization staff input is very valuable, but does not represent the whole picture; often, community stakeholders can give powerful insights on an organization’s effectiveness.
May 3, 2007 - 9:14am
When reading the newspaper or browsing the internet I tend to be drawn to articles in which someone is developing a solution to a widespread (or at least widely talked about) problem.