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Using Appreciative Inquiry to Build Evaluation Capacity.

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Presentation on theme: "Using Appreciative Inquiry to Build Evaluation Capacity."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Appreciative Inquiry to Build Evaluation Capacity

2 Objectives Understand the basic principles of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Understand the structures and processes in building evaluation capacity Experience the first phase of AI Explore how AI can be applied in building evaluation capacity in own context

3 Methods Mini-lectures Individual reflections Small group discussions Large group discussions

4 What is Appreciative Inquiry?

5 is the cooperative search for the best in people, their organizations, and the world around them. It involves systematic discovery of what gives a system life when it is most effective and capable in economic, ecological, and human terms… the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a systems capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential. Cooperrider & Whitney, 1999 Appreciative Inquiry

6 is the study and exploration of what gives life to human systems when they function at their best... Questions and dialogue about strengths, successes, values, hopes and dreams are themselves transformational… Human organizing and change, at its best, is a relational process of inquiry, grounded in affirmation and appreciation. Whitney & Trosten-Bloom, 2003, p.1

7 Brief Background on AI Dissertation work of David Cooperrider in organizational development, Case Western University School of Management (1980) Currently used in evaluation and research on: organizational effectiveness or change community development social work education health

8 Assumptions Half-empty? Half-full? Half-fool?

9 Language and Context The language we use reflects our context The language we use can influence our context

10 Appreciative Inquiry Process Inquire Evaluation Capacity Building Imagine Innovate Implement Based on the 4-I Model. Preskill & Catsambas, 2006

11 AI Philosophy Action research method: the act of asking questions or doing research is an intervention and changes the context The language we use creates our reality Positive image results in positive action People perform better and are more motivated to act when they have a choice in what they will contribute.

12 A small group exercise You are working in an organization where evaluation is accepted by some and not by others You want to know: what are peoples experiences with evaluation how to increase staff buy-in, and how to build capacity for evaluation You decide to use Appreciative Inquiry

13 Phase 1: Inquire Choose a partner at your table First, answer the questions on your own (2 minutes) Then, take turns interviewing each other (5 minutes each) Listen with great curiosity and interest Take notes, and listen for memorable quotes Ask probing questions

14 Conducting the appreciative interview Peak experience Tell me about an exceptional experience when an evaluation process was working very well. Values What do you value most about yourself and your role in that experience? Wishes What 3 wishes do you have so you can have more of this exceptional experience?

15 Small Group Tasks Form a small group of about 6 to 8 persons Tell your partners story, values and wishes Listen for and note themes as you hear the stories Discuss and identify the themes Write up to 5 themes on the flipchart

16 In the larger group What are the common themes? What are the values? What made success possible?

17 From Problem-Focused to Appreciative Inquiry Problem-focused: What problems are we having? Appreciative Inquiry: Whats working well around here? How can we do more of it?

18 Appreciative Inquiry & Problem-Solving Approaches Language used: deficit- based Problem talk Focus on what does not work Generates blame and defensiveness Tends to have fragmented view of the system Language used: affirmative Possibility talk Focus on what works Generates vision Tends to have a more wholistic view of the system

19 Using AI to learn about action research Everyones input is welcome and captured Opportunity for learning to conduct interviews Opportunity for learning facilitation of group discussions (focus groups) and identifying themes

20 Doing Appreciative Inquiry

21 Phase 1: Inquire Paired interviews Core questions: peak experience values wishes Share stories in a small group Identify themes

22 Phase 2: Imagine Small groups envision a future state: What will the program/organization look like in 3, 5 or 10 years? Visions shared in words and/or visual images Groups share their visions and images Discussion of themes

23 Phase 3: Innovate Develop provocative propositions for themes based on stories and visions Stretch the imagination Represent the organizations social architecture (culture, leadership, policies and processes, communications, relationships, structure)

24 Phase 4: Implement Members select propositions they wish to work on Monitor, evaluate and celebrate progress Keep the conversation ongoing

25 In small groups Imagine that 3 years have passed, and evaluation practices are successfully implemented and used in your organization. Describe: What does it look like? How does it work? Who participates? What types of evaluation knowledge, behaviour and attitudes are occurring?

26 Tasks for the Group Reflect on the scenario individually, then share to your small group Identify and discuss themes Select a photo or create a drawing that represents the themes Share in the larger group

27 AI as a road map for evaluation Use the 4-I phases Clarifying outcomes Developing evaluation questions Identifying stakeholders Developing measures & indicators Using data for reporting & managing Inquire Evaluation Capacity Building Imagine Innovate Implement

28 AI can be successfully applied if The organization is interested in using participatory and collaborative approaches The organization wishes to build capacity for evaluation The evaluation involves a wide range of stakeholders The organization values innovation and creativity The organization wants to use evaluation findings to improve its programs

29 Applying AI approaches Evaluation or QI: questionnaires, interviews Meetings Strategic planning

30 Case Example 1: Questionnaire Annual survey to members of the Centres reference group Top 3 outstanding contributions or achievement of the reference group Wishes for Centre to be more responsive Wishes for the group to be more effective

31 Case Example 2: End of the year project report Project leads respond to a questionnaire to assess how well the project has contributed to the Centres Strategic Goals Questionnaire is an online form using a web- based project management software (SmartSimple)


33 Case Example 2: End of the year project report Number and type of internal and/or external stakeholders Evidence that the project was successful in addressing the strategic goal Other key contributions How can the questions be changed to reflect an AI approach?

34 Evaluation Capacity-Building

35 the intentional work to continuously create and sustain overall organizational processes that make quality evaluation and its uses routine. Stockdill, Baizerman & Compton, 2002, p. 14 The extent to which an organization has the necessary resources and motivation to conduct, analyze and use evaluations Gibbs, Napp, Jolly, Westover & Uhl, 2002, p. 161 Evaluation capacity building

36 In English…. Evaluation that is sustainable, appropriate and high quality To do: plan and implement To use: analyze results, engage stakeholders, improve programs

37 Source: Preskill & Boyle, 2008

38 Some facilitators for building evaluation capacity Leadership, management, champions Systems: collection of data or information, familiarity with QI processes, feedback Organizational culture and stability Communication

39 Evaluation Capacity Building Objectives Knowledge Example: various approaches and methods Skills Example: developing a logic model Affective Example: Evaluation adds value and yields useful information

40 AI + ECB = ? What is the value of using an appreciative approach to evaluation? How can the Centre assist your organization in building capacity for evaluation?

41 Checking Out 1.What did you find surprising? Exciting? 2.What is your one key insight? 3.What wish do you have to make todays workshop work better for you? 4.What is one thing you can do/want to do based on what we discussed today?

42 Thank you! For questions or comments contact: Evangeline Danseco, PhD Head, Evaluation and Research x3319

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