RTPE Meeting Friday, February 16 – Applying Equity Perspectives in Practice: Community Reflections and Needs Assessment

Where: Solterra Co-housing Community Gathering Place – The Common House

(Solterra Way, Durham, NC 27705, http://www.solterra.net/, click here for directions to Solterra. See below for directions to the Common House.)

Meeting Agenda:

11:00 am – 11:10 am Announcements and Introduction, with lunch provided. Greet attendees, receive and share professional updates, and assemble your lunch. Lunch will be provided.

11:10 am – 12:00 pmEquity Perspectives in Practice. The theme for our 2018 RTP Evaluator meetings and professional development is Evaluation and Equity: From Perspective to Practice. This meeting will provide time for us to dive into the topic, get to know each other better, learn from each other’s experiences, and identify needs that RTP Evaluators can address in upcoming meetings. We will open the conversation by briefly reviewing a list of best practices drawn from the culturally responsive evaluation literature (click here to view and add to a resource bank). Following we will assemble into groups to discuss case studies (click here to view a sample discussion starter) or a challenge from our own practice. Our collective reflections and identified needs, reported out at the end, will inform the focus of our May professional development.

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Continued Discussion and Networking. For those who can stay, we can continue our discussion or provide time for you to engage your colleagues on other topics. This hour will be flexible depending on the needs and interests of those who can stay.

Direction to the Solterra Common House:

1) When you turn into Solterra please stop at the stop sign and then turn right.

2) Follow Solterra Way until it dead ends at the Common House parking lot.

3) Please feel free to park in the spaces there – there are also a few spaces on the right midway between the entrance and the parking lot.

4) If there are no spaces at the parking lot or midway, please reverse direction and follow Solterra Way past the entrance (it will be on your left now) all the way around to the back. You may park along Solterra Way on one side of the road.



RSVP to Valerie Ehrlich (RTPE Secretary) at evaluatorsrtp@gmail.com required for this meeting. We will be providing lunch and so need an accurate headcount. You must respond by February 9.

If you haven’t paid dues for 2018, board members will be available to accept membership forms, information updates, and dues.

Upcoming Meetings:

  • May Professional Development (date TBD)
  • August 17, quarterly meeting
  • November 16, quarterly meeting

PLEASE NOTE DATE CHANGE: Save the Date – Hallie Preskill is coming to RTPE on June 14!!

RTPE is thrilled to announce that our June May workshop will focus on strategies that can be used to facilitate intentional group learning, and led by Hallie Preskill. In this hands-on session we will experience and learn how to use strategies such as data placemats, chalk talks, and gradients of agreement from FSG‘s new guide. In recent years, RTPE has focused on evaluation capacity building, stakeholder engagement, and data visualization. This session will be designed to build on these topics by providing hands-on training with activities you can use with your clients and colleagues.

As most of you probably know, Hallie is a former President of AEA. She has published multiple books on evaluation, and is one of the field’s leading contributors on evaluation capacity building and appreciative inquiry. Hallie is currently a managing director with FSG, where she oversees the firm’s Strategic Learning and Evaluation practice efforts. What some of you may not know is that Hallie moved to the RTP area within the last year, and she just joined RTPE! Whether you have the chance to meet her at the workshop in June May, or some other time soon, we hope you will help welcome Hallie to North Carolina!

This year’s session will be on June 14 May 24 at Duke’s Bullpen entrepreneurial space in Durham. The workshop will run from 9am-2pm (lunch will be provided). Seating is limited to 45 attendees. As always, members will have priority seating. Registration will open March 1, and so please mark your calendars and stay tuned!

Hope to see you all at this month’s meeting.

Communication in Evaluation: a Q&A with Kelci Price and August meeting preview

On Friday, August 16 we’ll be meeting at the usual spot (RTP Marriott) for our August meeting.  Book club will start at 10 AM, professional development session at 11 AM, and the networking lunch in Newton’s Restaurant at 12 PM.

Send an RSVP to Amy Germuth (agermuth @ gmail . com) if you plan to attend.

This month we’ll be doing something new, beaming in Kelci Price via Webinar to lead our professional development session.  I have a little pre-meeting Q&A down below, here’s the preview.

Communication in Evaluation: Professional Development Preview

Communication in evaluation involves evaluators translating complex data into understandable information for stakeholders. It sets the stage for the utilization of evaluation findings, so is a foundational skill for all evaluators. In recent years there has been a renewed focus on how to better communicate evaluation findings in ways that engage stakeholders, improve their understanding, and inspire them to take action.

The key elements of good communication include considerations of content structure and visual communication (e.g., data visualization). This presentation will demonstrate how these concepts can be addressed in both written deliverables and presentations. The goal is to provide both novice and veteran evaluators with innovative ideas and concrete strategies for creating reports and presentations that will communicate their messages, engage audiences, and inspire stakeholders to action. Real-life examples are included, as well as resources for evaluators to use in their own practice.

A little Q&A with Kelci Price

Kelci was kind enough to answer a few of my pre-meeting questions.

You will be our first ever Webinar. When the webinar starts what will the group see, your face, your slides, or both?

“I’ll admit that I’d just assumed I’d put my slides up first, and I don’t have a webcam on my computer. But now that you mention it, I should start with a picture of me!”

Now let’s go beyond preview, how about a little teaser? What is one of the strategies or ideas you plan to address?

“There are some really simple changes you can make to amp up the utility of a report. One that I love is using your headings differently. Instead of using a generic heading, have the heading reflect a take-home message (e.g., “Successful clinics organize their staff differently”). A simple but powerful way to draw in the audience!”

Instead of using a generic heading, have the heading reflect a take-home message

It seems like the TED conference and the loads of experts found on the web are having an impact on the way we approach presentations. It also seems to be ratcheting up audience expectations. Are the days numbered for the bullet point laden, clip art-filled, presentations of the past?

“I certainly hope so. It seems like we might be increasing our understanding that presentations should be informative and inspiring – even the ones about evaluation! The audience should expect more, but presenters should also demand more of themselves. We presenters need to give presentations the respect they deserve as vehicles of information and change. Hopefully we can do away with throwing together a few slides the night before with text that was copied directly from the report.”

In the past couple of years the American Evaluation Association has been making a big push to improve presentations with things like the potent presentations initiative. They even brought in a little fun with the Ignite presentations. You were at last year’s conference, did you notice any change in the quality of presentations?

“I am so excited by the attention that AEA has paid to this – I’ll admit that I jumped for joy when AEA announced the Data Visualization and Reporting TIG. They have really done an amazing job educating folks and providing resources. The changes I have seen people make so far have mostly focused on good slide design.

I admit that I’m concerned that we’re not paying enough attention to the structure of the story we tell – slide design and fancy infographics are one thing, but the narrative matters even more. I could stand in front of a black screen and hold you in rapt attention with no slides if I have a great narrative. We need to remember that knowing how to tell the story is key.”

We need to remember that knowing how to tell the story is key.

Personally my favorite presenter is Hans Rosling (He ended a presentation about data by swallowing a sword!!!), who is your favorite?

“Hans Rosling is definitely fabulous. I love Nancy Duarte for her storytelling prowess – her book Resonate was a turning point for me (she has a great TED talk). I love searching out new speakers with passion and a great story because it reminds me that you don’t have to be a professional speaker to give an incredible presentation! TED talks are my go-to place for this.”

Prior to the webinar, what else should we know about Kelci? You’re an Applied Social Psychologist, I had a few classes undergrad, they were always so much fun. You’re in Colorado are you an avid outdoors kind of person? Do you ski?

“I have a significant nerdy side and love to teach myself new things. My husband and I have been known to spend our Friday nights coming up with neat Excel formulas. I am also an avid wet felter – a little known art form that involves creating textiles from raw wool. On the weekend I can generally be found felting handbags and wall hangings. If this whole evaluation thing doesn’t pan out, I will probably get a farm and raise alpacas. And yes, I love to hike the mountains of Colorado!”

More about Kelci Price

Kelci Price has 10 years of experience conducting evaluations and supporting organizations in their use of evaluation in strategy and learning. She currently serves as the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Colorado Health Foundation, a grant-making organization with over $2.3 billion dollars in assets which seeks to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. Previously, Kelci served as an internal evaluator and Director of Data Program Management for the Chicago Public Schools, and as a senior evaluator with The Evaluation Center at the University of Colorado Denver. She holds a PhD in Applied Social Psychology.

Kelci has a passion for good communication in evaluation, having discovered early in her career that how the information is presented is a critical component of whether evaluation findings will be used. Her focus is on ways to communicate evaluation findings so that stakeholders engage with the evaluation, understand the findings, and are inspired to take action. She has found that that the key elements of good communication include considerations of content structure and visual communication.