Workshop participation & short term impact

February 23, 2007 at 10:03 pm 2 comments

An interest of mine is looking at the short & long term impact of conferences and workshops. A lot of work has been done on evaluating the impact of training that I have written about before. Basically, we can look at four levels of impact: 1. Reaction, 2. Learning, 3. Behavior & 4. Results. A lot of conference/workshop evaluation focus on the “reaction” aspect – what did participants like/prefer about an event.

But more interesting is to look at the learning, behavior and- if possible – results aspect. This usually takes time – however, if we are clear about what a workshop/conference is trying to achieve, we can often identify changes in learning/behavior in the short term.

A practical example. When I ran the “Do-It-Yourself Monitoring and Evaluation” workshop (pictured above that’s – David Washburn and myself at the workshop) at the LIFT07 conference, my main objective was to get people thinking about how they could integrate monitoring and evaluation into their own projects. Using a basic evaluation framework (pdf) groups worked to break down projects into the main steps needed for evaluation.

So was the “learning” aspect succesful? – I’d like to think so. Quite a few people commented to me how it got them thinking about monitoring/evaluation and what they could do with their own projects. Also, the following participants blogged about the workshop, an indication of what they took away from the workshop – and also crossing into the “behaviour” area: they processed some thoughts and took the action (behaviour) of writing about it:

Even more so, one participant told me about how he used the information from the workshop the same week, which supports my idea about the possiblity to identify short term impact, even in terms of behaviour:

“When we got back from the workshop, I took out the evaluation framework and sat down with my colleagues and planned out what we were going to monitor and evaluate in our major projects, setting down objectives and evaluation indicators. So we can use the framework as a guide in the coming six months.”


Entry filed under: Conference / event evaluation, Training evaluation, Trainings, Seminars & Conferences.

Beware: dodgy Blog ROI in circulation Network Mapping – Commercial application?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nchenga  |  March 14, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    thanks for the link 😉

  • 2. Glenn  |  March 14, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    you are welcome!


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