Creative Consulting & Development Works

We are a research, evaluation and communications consultancy, servicing nonprofits, governments and donors with innovative solutions within the development context.

Evaluation is serious business and learning about evaluation is serious fun

27 February 2017

We are serious about having fun when presenting our training workshops. While research and evaluation may come across as mundane to some, we have included appropriate experiential learning opportunities into our training workshops ensuring active as opposed to theory-based-only learning.

Through our unique, interactive activities built into our training, we would like to share our passion for research and evaluation. In February, we held our Qualitative Data Collection training workshops in Cape Town and Pretoria. Join us for the upcoming Creative Data Collection training workshops in Cape Town (8 & 9 March) and Pretoria (14 & 15 March).

Copyright CC&DW

CC&DW Research intern, Sitho Mavengere and course participant, Ramona Mohanlall

Evaluation is serious business – in fact, one of the factors distinguishing evaluation from research is that evaluation inevitably involves a judgement. Knowing that an evaluation will influence decisions about programme design; whether or not a programme will continue to receive funding; and the direction of policy or legislation, can weigh heavily on the shoulders of an evaluator. Irrespective of our theoretical orientation, we cannot escape the reality that evaluators have to put their head on the proverbial chopping block when they conclude findings and make recommendations. High levels of responsibility require high levels of professionalism, rigour, accuracy and accountability. Ongoing development of evaluation capacity is an important component of the process of professionalization of evaluation.

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Qualitative data collection tools training in action

Sound theoretical knowledge is the non-negotiable basis for capacity building, and there are a number of excellent academic offerings on programme evaluation.  At CC&DW we have recongnised that complementary to academic programmes, there is space for experiential learning through skills development training workshops that provide participants with the opportunity to learn through application and experimentation.  Knowledge does not equal capacity. Deep capacity requires application of knowledge; the quality of application depends on skill; and the quality of skill depends on practice.

Steps in Action Learning | copyright study.com

Steps in Action Learning | copyright study.com

The classic professions include both theory and praxis. A medical doctor has to do a two-year internship after completing six years of formal study, even though extensive practical work is already integrated in the curriculum from the 3rd or the 4th year, depending on the faculty. During their internship, junior doctors are registered at the Health Sciences Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for “supervised practice”, and they are only allowed to practice independently after successfully completing the internship. Similarly, Clinical Psychologists do internships, Lawyers and Accountants do articles.

Taking a page from this book, we make sure that we provide the opportunity to our workshop participants to get exposure to skills training and a taste of what it means to apply their knowledge and skills. CC&DW has developed a series of complementary training workshops which enable practical peer learning and are embedded in a sound theoretical foundation. All our courses have space for learning through fun activities, and elements of surprise have been built into each workshop. This makes evaluation theory and skills real and relevant, with specific activities through which participants can try out what they have learnt, and then reflect on their experiences. This is action learning in practice!

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