A blog about our Creative Evaluation work, engagement activities, research and more!
This month we've been working hard planning our Book Launch and Knowledge Exchange Event! There are still online spaces left, but in-person is now sold out! Can't wait to see you all there.
Festival of Social Science 2023, Health Innovation Campus, Lancaster
Elisavet and Violet were joined by Philip Ely at the ESRC Festival of Social Science, held in the Health Innovation Campus, Lancaster, with support from students Eleanor Mercz and Ceri Acton. We presented a range of Creative Evaluation activities with a focus on Health and Wellbeing, with a dual purpose of engaging and educating the the public about evaluation, and giving them an opportunity to reflect on their own health and wellbeing. The stand was very well attended and we had lots of visitors of all ages. Elisavet and Philip also presented the EViD Tool, which features in our Little Book of Creative Evaluation.
UK Evaluation Society Conference 2023, London
Violet and Elisavet presented at the UK Evaluation Society Annual Conference about BioMapping and Creative Evaluation.
Biophysics itself is a transdiscipline and has been widely applied in other disciplines such as agriculture, policy design, archaeology and applied geography. Biophysical context treats its subject as a living entity and considers the various environmental surroundings that affect a subject's unique states of being. We call the process of using a biophysical context lens BioMapping. BioMapping in evaluation can help explore a subject's different environmental surroundings and identify the various parameters and factors that have an influence on the subject's various states of being. Additionally, it can not only look into the present but learn from the past and speculate about the future when considering how a subject's different environmental surroundings have affected, are affecting or may affect in the future its various states-of-being such as survival development and evolution. Using CE activities within biophysical exploration can help to make the evaluation process more inclusive and can further support the benefits that the BioMapping can create.
The conference was incredibly vibrant and was very well attended. It was a great opportunity to showcase our ongoing work on Creative Evaluation and our more recent work on BioMapping.
Living Knowledge Network, The British Library
Violet was invited to lead a webinar for the Living Knowledge Network, The British Library, titled "Beyond the Clipboard: Creative Evaluation Methods". There was a great attendance to this event with a lively discussion about evaluative practice.
Ever wondered ‘what is the point in this evaluation’ or ‘is there a better way than yet another survey’?
In this webinar we will address these questions, look at why evaluation is important, how you can make best use of existing data and move beyond the clipboard to explore how evaluation can be fun (yes, really)!
Creative Evaluation is a constellation of approaches that use creative methods, tools and thinking aimed at producing evaluations that foster collaboration, mutual learning, inclusivity and engagement.
Led by Creative Evaluation expert, Violet Owen, in this session you will learn about the 5 principles of Creative Evaluation and hear examples of how Creative Evaluation methods have been used in practice, including ‘feedback teabags’ and Storytelling Evaluation Methodology.
This session is for anyone who is interested in or involved with evaluation and will be particularly relevant for front line public library, archive and other GLAM staff
The Little Book has been published!
Get your copy online today!
Participatory Design Conference 2022, Newcastle, UK
19/08/2022 - 26/08/2022
This was an exploratory paper written for the Participatory Design Conference 2022 "Expanding Evaluation Design Towards the Biophysical Context".
This paper explores the process of designing evaluation approaches that engage with the broader environmental surroundings of evaluation projects in ways that can foster resilience, sustainability, inclusivity and recovery. The authors are proposing a new outlook towards evaluation design which involves expanding towards the biophysical context by using Creative Evaluation (CE) methods. The paper suggests that evaluators can draw from biophysics to design new methodologies that explore how a subject's (programme, organisation, project) environmental surroundings can influence its states of being like wellbeing, survival, development and evolution. The authors identify CE methods and tools as important in fostering this exploratory process.
Design Research Society Conference 2022, Bilbao, Spain
25/06/2022 - 03/07/2022
Violet presented this paper "Evaluating Social Innovations: How Creative Evaluation can help articulate their values and impacts" at the Design Research Conference in Bilbao, Spain.
Locally, nationally and internationally, Social Innovations (SI) are increasingly seen as a way to address the complex problems posed by society. Emphasised by both funding bodies and in UK legislation and initiatives such as Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 and Social Impact Bonds, there is a greater urgency in evidencing the value generated by SIs. However, the process of measuring and evidencing social value is still underdeveloped. This necessitates developing evaluation approaches that are adaptive, responsive to context, and able to demonstrate value beyond financial return. This paper presents an overview of the current evaluation methods employed to capture the social value generated by SI’s and examines the problems with these methods. Furthermore, it reviews Creative Evaluation (CE), a constellation of evaluation approaches, which has recently garnered renewed attention in evaluation research, and presents it as a promising avenue that could help mitigate the current issues faced when evaluating SI’s.
You can download the full paper here.
Pınar and Violet also led an online workshop at DRS 2022 "Exploring the Biophysical Context"
Using Miro participants were invited to explore Biophysical Mapping through a hypothetical scenario.
UK Evaluation Society Conference 2022,
Online & London
Pınar and Violet led this presentation "Creative Evaluation in the Biophysical Context" at the online event at the UK Evaluation Society Conference 2022.
Violet presented this poster "Creative Evaluation, a New Direction for Evaluating Social Innovations" at the in person event at the UK Evaluation Society Conference 2022, in London.
UK Creativity Researchers Conference 2022, London
Violet presented this poster "Creativity in Evaluation Research and Practice" at the UK Creativity Researchers Conference held in London.
Concepts and Contexts of Creative Evaluation Approaches
Where it all started! This was our first publication together about Creative Evaluation, published in the Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation.
Background: Creative Evaluation (CE) is an unformed constellation of evaluation approaches that is based on varied understandings of creativity. Although creativity in evaluation has been consistently valued and needed by evaluation practitioners and researchers, the use of the term CE is currently limited in its applications as it has been developed inconsistently and often in isolation to the broader evaluation practice. The authors review examples where the term CE is being used, to present this constellation of approaches and group them under concepts and contexts, aiming at fostering an exploration into CE.
Purpose: This paper examines the use of term Creative Evaluation by reviewing a set of examples from varied settings like educational programmes, cultural industries and social work and to present the reader with a better understanding about the contexts and concepts associated with CE. The authors discuss the transdiciplinary nature of evaluation along with a review of historical developments in evaluation theory and practice that help identify the emergence of responsive, flexible and problem-solving driven approaches to evaluation that can showcase a growing connection between creativity and evaluation.
Findings: There are different conceptualisations of the term CE applied in a variety of disciplinary and practice contexts. The term CE is used to describe both the process of applying creative thinking and the process of employing creative methods in the evaluation process. Creative thinking indicates a broader application of creativity that shapes the evaluation process and often results in the development of novel methods while creative methods indicate a more targeted use of methods that employ creative practices to achieve a specific evaluation goal like increasing engagement in the evaluation process.