Several staff members presented their work at the American Evaluators Association (AEA) Annual Conference from October 15-18, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. This year’s conference, entitled “Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future,” asked participants to connect evaluation to the challenge of “nurturing a diverse and interconnected world with enough for all for generations to come.” The conference explored three major themes: integrating systems thinking into evaluation theory and practice; building relationships by connecting experiences with diverse disciplines and sectors; and understanding sustainable and equitable living through evaluation.
Sarah Bobmeyer, CPHSS Manager of Research and Evaluation, and Caren Bacon, Expanding Coverage Initiative Project Coordinator, led a presentation entitled “Evaluation of a multi-faceted initiative to expand health insurance coverage in a complex environment: A systems perspective.” This presentation described the Expanding Coverage Initiative evaluation framework, which was developed from a systems perspective. The presentation also highlighted data collection tools, analysis and dissemination methods, and lessons learned.
Dr. Bobbi Carothers, CPHSS Senior Data Analyst, presented an hour-and-a-half demonstration on “Network analysis from start to finish: Techniques, tools, and tips for evaluating your network.” This how-to presentation walked through the steps of conducting a network analysis from start to finish and highlighted useful tools and lessons learned along the way. Participants learned how to decide who to include in their networks, tips for collecting network data using online surveys, how to manage network data, and recommendations for analysis and visualization software. Participants also saw examples of network analysis in evaluation applications.
Nikole Lobb Dougherty, CPHSS Healthy and Active Communities Initiative Project Manager, presented in a session entitled “Enhancing data visualizations through simple interactivity: Examples for different stages of the evaluation process.” This presentation highlighted one approach to incorporating simple interactivity into data visualizations in electronic portable document files (PDFs) using Adobe software. Features covered included embedding pop-up boxes and show and hide options that appear when a user hovers over text or icons. The approach can be applied to many types of data visualizations.