Date(s) - 04/04/2017
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Tech Networks of Boston (TNB) is pleased to invite nonprofit professionals to a Roundtable session on how nonprofits can use data placemats for participatory analysis. Our featured guest will be Laura Beals and Barbara Perry of Jewish Family & Children’s Service.
Here is what Barbara and Laura say about this session:
There are many frameworks that can guide program evaluation in nonprofit settings; one that we strive to use at JF&CS is that of a “data inquiry cycle,” in which the circular steps are Plan, Collect, Analyze, Disseminate, and Act. It is often the latter two that can be difficult—how do you engage stakeholders in a process of reflecting on data in a way that is respectful of their program expertise, allows for collaborative meaning making, and, quite frankly, is not boring? Traditionally, data is often shared in the context of a narrative report, full of charts and graphs that are interpreted by the person writing the report, perhaps even earning the dubious designation of “TL;DR” (“too long; didn’t read”). While this type of report has its place for a particular set of circumstances, this is not the best way to foster a collaborative learning environment and to maximize the value of the data being presented. Instead, at JF&CS we have been using a participatory analysis approach called “data placemats,” defined as:
“A facilitative technique that occurs during the analysis stage of an evaluation that is designed to enhance stakeholder understanding of evaluation data. Data placemats display thematically grouped data designed to encourage stakeholder interaction with collected data and to promote the co-creation of meaning under the facilitative guidance of the evaluator. Each placemat represents the data using visual elements such as charts, graphs, and quotes and draws on best practices of data and information display to format these elements. During the process, evaluators guide stakeholders to a mutual understanding of information contained in the data placemats.” (Pankaj & Emery, p. 81)
In this session, we will explore the use of “data placemats” by engaging in a small group activity and discussion, including sharing of our lessons learned. So that we can maximize the time for the activity, we are requesting that you read the following article, as it provides an overview about data placemats that we will not be repeating in this session:
Pankaj, V., & Emery, A. K. (2016). Data placemats: A facilitative technique designed to enhance stakeholder understanding of data. In R. S. Fierro, A. Schwartz, & D. H. Smart (Eds.), Evaluation and Facilitation. New Directions for Evaluation, 149, 81–93.
Here’s a little more about Laura:
Laura Beals, Ph.D. is a nonprofit evaluator with expertise in the use of technology to support evaluation and in evaluation methods and management in nonprofit settings. She is currently the director of the department of evaluation and learning at Jewish Family and Children’s Service Boston, a large social-service agency located in Waltham, MA. At JF&CS, she oversees the team responsible for conducting internal evaluation across the agency and implementing the Efforts-to-Outcomes client database. Prior to joining JF&CS, Laura worked as the manager for research, evaluation, and technology at Connected Beginnings Training Institute, a professional development training institute for early care and education providers. She is currently the co-chair of the American Evaluation Association’s Nonprofit and Foundations Topical Interest Group. Laura completed her Ph.D. and M.A. at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University.
Here’s a little more about Barbara:
Barbara Perry, LSW is a nonprofit program evaluator with an expertise in client feedback, data analysis, and data visualization. She is currently the evaluation manager for the department of evaluation and learning (DEL) at Jewish Family & Children’s Service. Barbara also works as a social worker in and on special projects for the agency’s services for people with disabilities. As evaluation manager, Barbara oversees the development, implementation, and analysis of client feedback tools. She also manages the agency’s learning conversations, helping programs, agency leaders, and other stakeholders to access, understand, and use their data for program improvement and strategic decision making. Prior to joining DEL, Barbara was a social worker for the agency’s adoption program, overseeing international adoptions and working with families completing domestic infant adoptions.
1) In keeping with the spirit of the TNB Roundtable series, this session will NOT be a sales pitch for any product or service. This will be a professional development opportunity for nonprofit professionals who want to learn with and from their peers in other organizations.
2) This session is for employees of nonprofit organizations. It is not designed to meet the needs of vendors, volunteers, students, consultants, job-seekers, and others.
4) Participation in this session is free of charge for nonprofit professionals. However, you must have a confirmed reservation in order to attend.
5) If this session is booked to capacity by the time you seek to register for it, please go ahead and put yourself on the waiting list. We have a good track record of finding seats for nonprofit professionals on the waiting list.
We hope that you can join us for a vigorous and informative conversation, in which you will be welcome to share your knowledge and experience with your peers!