How do we know it works? March 2023
A deep dive into the 8 Problems with Evaluation and Measurement + essential tools to help guide your measurement practices toward equity
Working in a job that “has meaning” and is meant to “better the world” can feel a little bit like crazy-making doublethink: sometimes we feel like we’re really making an impact, and other times we feel like our work isn’t moving the needle at all (or might even be making things a little worse). Yet, **almost all of the time** we don’t actually know which (or both) of these things are true, to what extent, and why.
In a nutshell: many organizations design evaluation systems as an afterthought, as an act of compliance to external demands, or in service of their own interests, needs, and timelines. Perhaps the most paradoxical part is that the folks most frequently left out of any kind of intentional process (if there is one) are in the communities we aim to design for and the staff on the actual frontlines of the work. When we ask organizations if whatever is being measured or evaluated is important to people on the frontlines, we usually get a whole lot of ?!😵💫!?
At Equity Meets Design we strive to build the capacity of individuals and organizations to align their equity values with all of their day-to-day practices, because design decisions aren’t neutral, power isn’t neutral, and numbers certainly aren’t neutral. For us, this kind of embedded practice contributes to meaningful changes in behavior and is the difference between paying lip-service to equity and truly doing equity.
This workshop will be an opportunity to explore how to do equity by more closely interrogating how you know what you do works and the methods you currently use to find out. Regardless of whether you’re still in the process of developing your evaluation/measurement practice or you already have an existing set of practices that are up and running, this workshop is a great starting point or gut check.
Who is this for & What will I learn
By the end of this session, our goal is for participants to walk away feeling comfortable in their ability to:
- diagnose where your organization is in its current practice as it relates to its equity values (can’t improve if you don’t know where you are)
- use some specific tools and approaches that are intended to strengthen the alignment between your evaluation and measurement practice(s) and your equity values (learning by doing)
- identify where and how people who are most proximate to the problem show up or can show up throughout your measurement practices/processes (from the definition of research questions through the use of data to improve solutions)
We will share a tool called the 8 Problems with Evaluation & Measurement (see the 8 problems here) which participants will then apply to their own work.
Participants will be guided through the process of doing a deep dive into their own evaluation and measurement practices and processes through the lens of each of these common problems. Examples and mini-cases will be offered, but the bulk of our time will be spent with you applying our framework to your own context ! Regardless of team size or the stage of your work, what we can promise is a fun and supportive environment in which to discuss and explore critical aspects of designing for evaluation and measurement equity and explore what you might bring to your specific organization context.
A word on what this workshop is not. We will not focus on developing an understanding of what equity is or what evaluation or measurement is– a basic knowledge of both will be assumed. We will not be touching on the technical aspects of evaluation research design, data analysis and visualization, or knowledge management systems; while we think that the 8 Problems with Evaluation & Measurement tool is helpful in the design of any aspect of a comprehensive evaluation or measurement system, technical aspects of creating those systems will not be covered.
Who should register: We encourage organizations to send teams (an evaluation person, a program person, and a communications person) but any group of three to six folks from your organization who wish to have this conversation are welcome.
Pre-work: Because participants will be using the tools we provide as a way to understand their organization’s current practices, we will ask participants to bring artifacts of their current practice with them to the session. Registrants will receive an email with more details about what to bring.
What’s the schedule
This is a one-time workshop, which will be held Thursday, March 30th, 2023 @ 12pm - 3pm est.
This workshop will be recorded, and the recording will be available to registrants for 3 months after the workshop.
$475 Group Ticket gets you 3 seats and $900 Group Ticket gets you 6 seats. We recommend bringing a team composed of at least an evaluation person, a program person, and a communications person.
Only 10 group tickets available!
The “Fine” Print:
ACTUALLY, MY JOB SHOULD TOTALLY FREAKING PAY FOR THIS!
We agree, which is why you should send them this Employer FAQ and ask👏🏽them👏🏽to👏🏽pay👏🏽up👏🏽 🤑💸. Not sure what to say in order to ask? Use the email template we wrote just for you, and if you'd like even more guidance, here's our Guide to Getting your Employer to Sponsor You.
Also – don’t forget about PD funds! Many organizations have “professional development funds” that are earmarked for the specific purpose of…you guessed it…professional development, just like this workshop! Accessing them is usually pretty easy and straightforward – talk to your manager, HR department, or consult your employee handbook to find out if you have PD Funds and what steps to take in order to access them.
We want you to be totally happy and fulfilled, so, if you’re not satisfied with the course, please let us know at [email protected] and we’ll do our best to make it right. Refunds can be requested up until one calendar week after the course ends.
1. Refunds are not available for scheduling conflicts, even unforeseen ones ☔. Don’t forget that the session will be recorded in case something comes up.
2. We cannot retroactively apply coupon codes! (If you're having trouble finding where to input a coupon code, you're not alone -- when you're on the shopping cart page, look for the blue "Enter promo code" text in the upper left-hand corner.)
3. We ask that y'all tender payment directly through the Eventbrite page whenever possible, but if you absolutely need to pay by ach/wire transfer, please email [email protected] and we’ll send you an invoice (additional fees may apply). Please note that for workshop offerings, we’re unable to go through vendor registration/purchase order processes because of their high administrative impact on our small-but-powerful team. Also, payment has to be tendered first in order to register; a.k.a. you can't sign-up for this workshop without first buying tickets.
TRANSPARENT PRICING POLICY:
How did y’all price this?
Just to keep it 💯this offering is priced on the lower side because this is the first time we’re doing this content in this format! We’re still iterating our content, refining our materials, and figuring out what questions and support folks need at this stage. If you like a good deal, might not be a bad idea to grab your seats this time ‘round because there’s a good chance admission will go up in the future ⬆️💸.
Who gets discounts and how do those happen?
If/when we offer discounts, folks who are subscribed to our newsletter find out first, so make sure you’re signed up!
Email us at [email protected] and we'll get back to you super soon 😘
Aislinn Betancourt (she/her/Ella)
Aislinn Betancourt is Chief Knowledge Officer at Equity Meets Design, a think-and-do-tank that merges the consciousness of equity work with the power of human-centered design.
Ultimately, Aislinn is devoted to helping organizations that do good, do better. Her work has spanned multiple industries - from education to agriculture - and five continents. Prior to joining Equity Meets Design, she was Chief Operating Officer for SVT Group, a firm that specializes in helping organizations know, grow, and show their social and environmental impact. Prior to SVT, Aislinn served as Social Impact Manager for an agricultural and community development NGO in rural Chile, where she spearheaded the organization's impact measurement and management strategy. She has also served as a consultant on dozens of organizational development, strategic planning, and evaluation projects, contributing her expertise in organizational design, impact strategy, and social research.
In addition, Aislinn is a veteran direct-service practitioner with over 10 years of experience working closely with indigenous communities, at-risk youth, and refugees toward economic stability, self-actualization, and citizenship. She has been an advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace since the start of her career, piloting initiatives to recruit, retain, and advance young people of color in the fields of management consulting. She has also helped develop policies that enable organizations to better serve their multicultural and multilingual client base.
Aislinn is a Fulbright alumna and completed her BA in Religious Studies at Rollins College and Masters of Social Work at Boston College. She is a native English and Spanish speaker.
Dr. Kofi Taha (he/him)
Kofi is the Director of Curriculum and Facilitation at Equity Meets Design and has over 20 years of professional experience as a facilitator, project manager, program administrator and fundraiser. He served as the Associate Director of MIT D-Lab where he focused on partnering with communities to develop, implement and evaluate community-driven design practices. In that capacity, he facilitated village-level technology design workshops in Uganda and Haiti; advised new enterprises commercializing social impact products in Ghana and Tanzania; provided support to local innovation centers in Brazil, Colombia, and India; helped lead the International Development Innovation Network (IDIN.org), a global community of 1000+ innovators, entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders, researchers, and educators; and raised over $62 million, including $55 million in federal contracts.
He is a senior lecturer at Olin College of Engineering where, as part of the Affordable Design & Entrepreneurship capstone program, he collaborates with local educators to implement Shifting Rhythms (shiftingrhythms.org), an after-school and summer program in rural Mississippi that offers youth ages 9-15 an opportunity to express themselves through hands-on technology, arts and entrepreneurship projects. He serves on the boards of Mercy Corps (mercycorps.org), an international humanitarian organization, and the Action Lab (actionlabny.org), a movement strategy and retreat space. Regardless of geography or whether technology is a focus, what drives his facilitation work is a commitment to improving the use of inclusive practices that lead to more equity and justice in communities that continue to experience the repercussions of generational exclusion. Standing on the sacrifices of many ancestors, he studied political economy at Columbia University, urban planning at MIT, and educational leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.