Evaluation is a powerful tool to help organizations understand what’s happening, learn about what’s working or not, where improvements can be made, and to demonstrate impact. Some organizations might want to develop the skills to carry out an evaluation in-house, while others decide to hire external evaluators. Whichever path is best for each organization, or whatever the field of work, I think developing our capacity to use evaluative thinking in our work can be very helpful. So what is it?
Evaluative thinking is cultivating the habit to be curious, identify assumptions, ask questions, take time out for reflection and let that reflection guide future action. Questions that can help us do this:
- How do we know?
- What evidence do we have?
- What are some alternative explanations?
- What assumptions are we making?
- What information do we need to make an informed decision?
Over the next 4 weeks, I’d like to share a bit more about evaluative thinking. If this is a practice your curious about developing, or already use, please join the conversation and share your questions and experiences.