FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT MAKES ASPECT RESEARCH + EVALUATION THE RIGHT PARTNER FOR MY TEAM?
First and foremost, we bring many years of experience in the field as educators. We understand the complexities of simultaneously running and evaluating programs, directly serving participants, building a team, and keeping the lights on. Our clients appreciate that we have been in their shoes and we understand the successes and challenges they face.
Additionally, our approach to evaluation as a learning opportunity, our responsiveness and attention to detail, our content expertise, and our camaraderie set us apart. We believe that the best evaluation work comes from building strong relationships with clients, program participants, and funders. In each of our projects, we bring best practices in evaluation, the latest research in your content area, and a strong sense of responsibility to do the best work we can for the communities served by our partners.
WE'RE COMMITTED TO EQUITABLE PROGRAM AND EVALUATION. HOW CAN ASPECT HELP US LEARN HOW WE'RE DOING?
Research and evaluation have long histories of undervaluing the voices of historically marginalized people and contributing to societal inequities. At Aspect, we believe in explicitly centering equitable evaluation strategies in every project. Just getting started on this work? We'll take a phased approach to review opportunities to involve community members and program participants throughout the evaluation process.
HOW DO WE SHOW FUNDERS AND OTHERS IN OUR COMMUNITY HOW IMPORTANT OUR WORK IS?
First we'll take a look at what different community members need to know and what decisions they need to make that can be informed by evaluation. This might range from aligning your goals with those of your participants to justifying your program to funders, to making internal program decisions. Next we'll explore the kinds of evidence that will help each stakeholder group. This will inform the data collection tools we develop and what your evaluation should look like. By starting with how your evaluation will be used, we'll ensure each evaluation activity, from tools to report, are aligned with those goals and useful to your team.
CAN ASPECT REVIEW MY [SURVEY/DATA/FINAL REPORT] AND ANSWER MY QUESTIONS ABOUT
WHAT TO DO NEXT?
Absolutely. Through our Coaching + Technical Assistance services, we can help you update your logic model, revise a survey, or turn folders of data into important results.
HOW DOES ASPECT TAILOR EVALUATION SERVICES FOR DIFFERENT ORGANIZATIONS?
We work with teams at all points in their evaluation journey. We can help build internal capacity or provide external evaluation services, or both simultaneously. Some teams have a recent logic model and existing tools that are meeting their needs. For these projects, most of our expertise is focused on data collection, analysis, and creating beautiful and usable reports that support the programmatic work. On other projects we are involved as partners from start to finish. In this work, we walk through our process to build a Learning Agenda. We'll learn about your programs, clarify your goals, identify the meaningful questions you have about your work, and co-design data collection tools to tell important stories. In all cases, we aim to be supportive, make learning about your programs fun, and help reach your goals.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO REFLECTING ON OUR PROGRAMS, BUT WE ARE A SMALL ORGANIZATION WITH A SMALL BUDGET. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND?
Let's talk! In a short amount of time, Aspect can help focus your resources on a small number of high-impact activities.
OUR COMMUNITY IS SKEPTICAL OF EVALUATION. WHAT CAN WE DO?
Evaluation is an opportunity to build relationships around a culture of learning. At Aspect, we aim to make the evaluation process manageable, rigorous, productive, and fun. In addition to our content expertise and experience with best practices, we often take the role of critical friend, pushing for clarity and organizing complex components into a cohesive evaluation plan. We prioritize and honor the expertise of your team, your participants, and other members of your community.
We'll focus on uncovering successes and opportunities for improvement to best inform decision-making for your programs and participants. As we clarify and design strategies to measure the goals for your work, it's crucial that community members or program participants are invited to share their goals for your partnership and the evaluation results that would help them to meet those goals.
We'll support you to involve community members or program participants in specific activities in each phase of the evaluation process. For some teams that includes inviting community members to co-design the overarching evaluation questions and data collection tools. In other teams, it means sharing what we've learned and collaborating with the community to decide next steps.
HOW CAN WE KEEP TRACK OF ALL THIS DATA WE'VE COLLECTED?
Aspect can set up--or coach your team to set up--straightforward and easy to manage data protocols that allow you to find what you need and easily report results to your internal and external stakeholders.
WE HAVE A GRANT PROPOSAL DUE NEXT WEEK!
Contributing evaluation planning to grant proposals is one our most requested activities. While we don't usually have capacity to work on short timelines for grant proposals, we love to meet new people and develop long-term partnerships. Our highest quality work happens when we have time to get to know your programs and tailor the best approach. The earlier in your proposal preparation we start our work together, the better.