The facilitation skills of an evaluator

“Training and especially facilitation plays a role in a number of steps within an evaluation. For instance, I use a method called sense-making to jointly reflect on evaluation findings to understand how a programme evolved, what its outcomes are, and what lessons can be drawn. We do this together with the client, beneficiaries, involved organisations and relevant stakeholders. In this process, I need to use my facilitation skills to ensure that participants understand the process, and participate freely and constructively. Ultimately, I need to facilitate the group towards a joint analysis and understanding at the end.”

 

Leaving your comfort zone

“Through the course, I gained many new insights into using different methods and techniques in working with groups, which allowed me to leave my comfort zone. Previously, I often used text-rich PowerPoint presentations, whereas now – although this isn’t easy for me – I try to use more creative techniques such as visuals, quizzes and games.”

 

Participants feel in control

“Since completing the course, I have found myself using visuals more actively when presenting or discussing. I am also more attentive to group dynamics and different learning needs in general. I have realised that my previous use of text-rich PowerPoints without any visuals is not the best way to keep your audience interested! Rather than merely presenting and discussing findings, I now take steps to ensure that the participants feel in control of the learning process themselves and have sufficient space to share their own insights”.

 

Tips for evaluators

“I recommend evaluators to make more use of diverse facilitation techniques to ensure that participants and stakeholders are better guided through data collection processes. This keeps the evaluation relevant to their learning needs, improves participation, and by extension enriches the evaluation process and findings!”

 

Curious to hear more about Hilde’s work? Contact her at hdj@mdf.nl. Are you interested in expanding your training and facilitation toolbox? Join the upcoming Training and Facilitation Skills course.