What We Offer
Developmental Evaluation is an adaptive approach that supports innovation, where evaluators are involved throughout the entire process, and learnings are applied while the work is ongoing. DE gives initial direction, tests quick iterations, provides data that’s needed now (not just when a report is due), tracks developments, and surfaces issues and emerging paths forward.
Here guiding principles are used to evaluate options for action and assess the value of the results. Principles clarify what is essential about what you do even when you need to change your approach, and give actionable guidance when starting a new initiative. Your programs—what you do and how you do it—as well as their results can be evaluated for alignment to stated principles.
Methods such as Outcome Harvesting, Most Significant Change and Ripple Effect Mapping, can be used when it seems impossible to evaluate results because so many variables are outside your control, or when you need to wait and see what results. In these kinds of complex situations, traditional evaluation approaches that measure specific predictable outcomes don’t make sense. Complexity-informed methods can be highly empowering and gratifying because they often rely on people sharing their stories and allow surprising and unanticipated results to be “counted.” The methods are often highly participatory and involve creative modes such as storytelling and art.
Processes such as Open Space Technology, and World Café engage people in examining critical problems in new ways that catalyze movement. These practices generate creative solutions, new principles for action, and emergent shifts in practices. We use a variety of qualitative methods to harvest the learning from events like these, and then circle back with participants to make sense of what was learned and what it means for collective action.
The link between evaluation and its use involves active and intentional integration of learning into future plans. We will work with your intended users (your leadership team, your program director, your activist collective) to make the evaluation actionable by embedding evaluation within the larger context of program and strategic planning, organizational development or whole systems change.
“We have historically struggled with utilizing program data in a meaningful way. Praxis has been vital in helping us do so. They have strong ethics and high standards for validating data. ”
Tracie Lima, Siskiyou County Health & Human Services Agency
Praxis Associates, LLC | Vashon Island, WA & Berkeley, CA | firstname.lastname@example.org