Evaluation results – what’s the message?

April 11, 2014 at 3:42 pm Leave a comment

Normally for communicating on a project, we would consider what the main messages are we want to communicate at the initial stages.  However, when communicating evaluation results, we have to wait until the initial findings are being developed – as key messages will normally be on the findings and not on the evaluation itself (not denying it’s important to communicate before and during the evaluation…).

So when  results are being formulated, this is the moment to consider what the key messages to communicate from the evaluation are.

Seems easy? As Professor Cronbach said:

“Commissioners of evaluations complain that the messages from evaluations are not useful, while evaluators complain that the messages are not used.”

The challenge of communicating evaluation results is to determine what are the key messages you want to communicate from the (often) significant body of findings, conclusions and recommendations. Often it helps to do this in a systematic way – a messaging strategy:

  • What is the most significant message coming out of the evaluation findings?
  • What are the secondary messages (maximum four) coming out of the evaluation findings?
  • What is the supporting information for these messages?

It then helps to map these out, as seen in the example below:

messages

It is also useful for some evaluations to determine messages per audience, for example, senior management, politicians, funders, project managers and staff.  Messages are simplistic and are not designed to be distributed directly to audiences. More so, they provide the template for all communication activities. Messaging strategies are all about making choices and determining what are the most important points you want to get across.

Entry filed under: communicating evaluation results, Evaluation reporting. Tags: , , .

Outcome mapping lab 2014, Tanzania, September 2014 How to transform evaluation findings into infographics

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