Visual display of Use and Misuse of evaluations

by Jun 4, 2018

I read with a lot of interest an article in the American Journal of Evaluation (Volume 38 Number 3) called “Definitions of Evaluation Use and Misuse, Evaluation Influence and Factors Affecting Use”, by Marvin C. Alkin and Jean A. King (September 2017).

I am more and more concerned about the use of the evaluations I facilitate, but I have to admit I had never thought about the differences between use and misuse. Readind the paper, I understood that we need to have a good-quality evaluation for start talking about Use or Misuse (otherwise is Mievaluation).

A bad-quality evaluation (either because of the evaluators incompetence or mischief, wrong understanding of the context or bad design) is a Misevaluation, and should not be used. Period.

As evaluators, we have a big responsibility because of the credibility inherent to our role. However, there are maaaany ways in which our judgements and conclusions can end up being wrong:

But to differentiate about Use and Misuse, first you need to have the intent to do that, otherwise it would be Non-Use (or Non-Misuse).

This decision tree can help us understand what falls under the Misuse category and what does not:

It was certainly interesting and clarifying having the time to learn and think about those concepts, and definitely a good starting point (or push) to engage more with the use of the evaluations I have the chance to conduct.

Hope you find it useful too! 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?