Using Evidence Internally & Externally
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Reading time: Approx 30 minutes plus Self Study Question time
Using Evidence Introduction
Our evidence-gathering course began with thinking through where you would like your peer program to be. This has entailed a sequence of progressive actions and decisions made, which are tailored by your own organisation. Steered by the four perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), we coordinated our choice of objectives. We then contemplated, not only what we would assess (Section 4) but also the way we would do so (Section 5).
Following this, we discussed ways of managing, collating and utilising the evidence collected (Section 6). Data analysis occupies a major role in the process of drawing upon compiled evidence to enlighten, gain knowledge and progress our peer programs. Data analysis represents an uncomplicated course of action, which regularly has an emphasis on searching for methods of interpreting evidence, as easily and fully as possible. We now conclude our journey into learning about, and improving, our programs.
This final section is particularly important for peer organisations. We will discuss utilisation of analysed evidence and the various ways in which we can use this both within and beyond our programs. The findings we produce should be noteworthy and pertinent for an assortment of onlookers. How we approach the reporting of these conclusions will be explored. Our hope is to offer you an array of strategies, towards generating meaningful evidence for your diverse variety of readers.
Your peer program will have lots of different types of analysed data to interpret and share from your evidence gathering project. We will also likely be needing to utilise the findings for a range of different purposes. We have many objectives under the Balanced Scorecard perspectives, which are worth assessing, for calculating our position. We also tend to seek usage of our findings for communicating feedback, information and news to major stakeholders. They are members, group facilitators, organization staff, funders, the NDIA and their ILC team, plus the disability sector, as a whole, and the broader community. At times, identical information will be valid for many interested parties. Nonetheless, how we proceed with pooling and examining, before displaying that information is liable to be diverse, governed by whom we are addressing.
Historically, a large share of peer programs brought data together and formally presented it for a basic motivation: the funder called for it and/or it was a feature of grant conditions. Nevertheless, now armed with a deeper awareness of potential benefits, drawn to the promise of a ‘compass’, we envisage you carrying out your evidence collection for a variety of diverse intentions. Your motivation may be keeping the community up-to-date and adding to evidence, regarding peer programs, on a national scale. You could wish to impart member experiences with other groups, and vice versa, or engage with other programs as a point of reference for your own. You may aspire to obtain insight into what is working well and what warrants further investment. Another dimension may surround your desire to know how well you are progressing toward your vision. Your original purpose for undertaking data gathering will influence the way you report it.
Capsule: Gathering evidence can be motivated by a variety of needs and your purpose will influence decisions surrounding its reporting and presentation.
SELF STUDY Q7.1
What are three reasons that you may decide to undertake an evidence collection journey?
In each case, who would be the intended audience for your evidence, findings and related reports?