Mapping Evidence

by Dec 13, 2018

Credible evidence. Such an intriguing concept (what it is and what makes it credible) makes me think about it often. And of course, I don’t reach too far, as most of us idealistic evaluators searching for answers… (sad LOL). But one day I thought: well, one thing we can do maybe for starters is to map the evidence we have…!

I love mapping things. Mapping for me means placing elements in different spots which mean something, to make some sense of the elements. In terms of Data Visualization is pretty simple (it all often boils down to a table or matrix), but for me, it provides transparency and therefore some clarity that text does not easily offer.

But how to map evidence? Well, I thought, when reading an evaluation report I would like to see where each of the maing findings/conclusions come from. Better put, I would like to know what type or level of evidence each conclusion represents. Why? Well, I think that somehow (not sure how though), it is not the same a finding that comes from reviewing secondary quantitative data than another conclusion that is reached after having analyzed key informants qualitative views. (Sorry, I know findings and conclusions are not the same, but for this matter I treat them similarly).

Therefore, I tried to map that exactly: taking each of the main conclusions, divided by evaluation criteria in this case, I mapped them by their evidence type:

The columns could of course contain other categories, and they could be classified by programme results instead of criteria. The types of findings can also be shown and coded differently. But overall, I would like to see this in reports and studies, so I can figure out how credible the evidence is – and if that is probably too ambitious, at least to have a better understanding of the evidence they are presenting… Thoughts? Thanks. 🙂

New posts coming up:

(published every two weeks-ish 🙂 )

  • ToCs series
  • Visual summary of impact designs
  • Visual summaries of other criteria designs
  • Ideas to make Bibliographies more informative
  • Ways of mapping beneficiaries
  • My favorite pre-attentive features
  • Ideas for reports (series)
  • Some day: iterations with the Periodic Table of Evaluation

And more!

Stay tuned! 🙂

You want to see more Visuals?