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    How can findings influence decision-making? [Guest post by Jonathan O’Reilly]

    Updated on: Aug 21st, 2012
    Data Visualization
    A collage of a calendar, paperclip, papers, and a presentation board.

    The dusty shelf report: The best way to keep evaluation results far, far, away from decision-making

    The dusty shelf report: The best way to keep evaluation results far, far, away from decision-making

    After spending the past couple years as an internal evaluator, I decided to start addressing other internal evaluators’ questions, comments, and concerns. I’ll be sharing their questions on my blog, connecting them to other evaluators, and offering advice from my own experiences with internal evaluation.

    Here’s a question from Jonathan O’Reilly, my friend from the Washington Evaluators. Jonathan recently accepted an internal evaluation position with the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County in Maryland. He writes:

    “I’d like to know more about internal evaluators’ experience with translating research to practice. My experience as an external evaluator witnessed the final report being the absolute end product – whether or not the client used the recommendations or had working groups around the evaluation report were beyond our involvement. In my new position, I am more optimistic about my evaluation findings being used to effect change.

    As an internal evaluator my vision is to call together a working group to present evaluation findings and start the conversation about modifying procedures where necessary. What has your experience as an internal evaluator been with getting research findings to be a key part of administrative decision-making?”

    Do you have any advice for this internal evaluator? Please share the good karma below.

    More about Jonathan O’Reilly
    In my 10 years of public service, my efforts have gone towards creating insights thru research and data analytics. As a trained analyst and SAS certified programmer, I am an extremely detail-oriented and structured thinker. Yet I strive to bring granular findings up to a “big picture” level in order to inform business and policy decisions. As a leader, I aim to lead by example in terms of work ethic and values. Accuracy, timeliness, and actionability are my own professional values when it comes to creating research and analytics products. I consider myself lucky to be in a position to lead a team that together can accomplish more than I alone could ever achieve.

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