This report focuses on what we have learned using Developmental Evaluation with several community engagement projects, two of them in partnership with journalism organizations. In brief, we found that when journalism is at or near the center of focus, it gets in the way of reinventing thriving local communications ecosystems. Innovations are more likely to come by imagining this emerging ecosystem through a broader perspective, one that considers digital, cultural, demographic, and technological shifts while also drawing from traditional elements of journalism.
Impact Tracker is an open-source tool from the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). It’s an interactive database that helps manage records of real-world change associated with a story, project or event. The entered dataset is filterable and searchable to track impact by topic or time period. Here’s a handy guide in how to use the tool, a write-up from journalism.co.uk, and download the open-source version.
Abstract: In recent years, audience analytics (systems that collect and analyze digital trace data from users) and audience metrics (quantified measures of how content is consumed and interacted with) have gained currency within newsrooms, enabling them to influence editorial news workers‘ constructions of their audiences and, consequently, the shapes that news products take. The extent of that influence, however, remains largely unknown, with few studies examining the direct relationship between metrics and news content. The present work addresses this shortcoming.
Harvis is a mobile web tool for collecting live contributions from audience members. It creates the capacity for users to react in real-time to events and measure their engagement and responses and have conversations around those reactions. Harvis’ public reveal was at the Tribeca Film Institute’s Interactive Day 2014. Here’s a write-up from The New York Times, Fast Company, and A Fourth Act.
Developmental evaluation (DE) offers a powerful approach to monitoring and supporting social innovations by working in partnership with program decision-makers. In this book, Michael Quinn Patton illustrates how DE can be used for a range of purposes: ongoing program development, adapting effective principles of practice to local contexts, generating innovations and taking them to scale, and facilitating rapid response in crisis situations. Here’s a quick explanation of developmental evaluation, and check out how DE was applied to the Elevate Engagement conference and JTM’s Civic Communication report.
This book describes a wildly popular approach to organizational change that dramatically improves performance by encouraging people to study, discuss, learn from, and build on what’s working, rather than simply trying to fix what’s not. Whitney and Trosten-Bloom use examples from many different types of organizations to illustrate Appreciative Inquiry (AI) in action. The authors have included a new chapter on the community applications of Appreciative Inquiry, as well as a host of new examples and other enhancements. More on AI here, here, and here.
We attempt to demystify and reveal the many faces of power. We look at power as an individual, collective, and political force that can either undermine or empower citizens and their organizations. It is a force that alternatively can facilitate, hasten, or halt the process of change promoted through advocacy. For this discussion, we draw on practical experience and theory, particularly related to poverty and women’s rights where power has been analyzed from the vantage point of subordination and discrimination. We also offer a variety of tools and frameworks for mapping and analyzing power and interests.