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Reply To: AIMS and evaluation

  • Paul

    Steward
    February 23, 2024 at 8:34 am

    I very much like these questions of evaluation, and think we could go a step further and state explicitly why we believe these things have value… e.g. transfer of practices/tools among hubs reduced the effort necessary to achieve [other goals].

    I am wary of how program evaluation can draw resources away from initial program implementation (I am not saying that is what you are proposing; I experience this as a tension, not an “either/or”)

    Regarding “establishing hubs” I think if we do that we should do that in our own regions, with a commitment to building and tending those circles. I have never been able to establish something that wasn’t ready 80% ready to establish itself, and I think it is wise to apply tremendous consideration to these conditions of readiness and support those enabling conditions. By contrast, empty proclamations of “existence” without these enabling conditions are in my experience often futile. This said there is power in declared intention… I would just allow that declared intention to emerge from a coherent local group (including or not including an active member of a regional team) and be clear about what makes a “hub” valuable and possible. In particular I’d like to interrogate deeply over time what makes a hub valuable to local teams, and I suspect this is the central work of an ongoing “needs assessment” process which will feed into this goal setting and evaluation process more powerfully, because we will be in conversation with emerging hub teams that are showing coherence (not just random individuals with opinions). I think this is a critical feedback that Clare Attwell mentions periodically.

    So yes, first draft GEFNSETT… then as quickly as possible start identifying and getting into conversation with potential regional hubs, while getting very clear about what that “system of mutual benefit” actually is (I am not sure we are clear; it’s not a website, but rather a website is only a possible communication tool that may or may not serve).