The Ohio Program Evaluators’ Group (OPEG) hosted a fabulous fall conference in the Cleveland, Ohio area on November 8th, 2013. Typically the meetings are held in Columbus and it was a treat to have the opportunity to network and talk evaluation with staff, evaluators, and funders from Northeast Ohio.

The title of the program was Program Evaluation: The Road to Better Programs and Increased Funding! The sessions were intended to help staff members of nonprofit organizations learn how to take on the role of evaluator in their organization; conduct a needs assessment, create a logic model, collect data, and manage an evaluation process; and quantify and report evaluation results.

My contribution to the day’s agenda was a session on presenting evaluation findings. In preparing the presentation, I dove into evaluation journals and literature and also into literature from the business world. The guidelines offered by business writers – to keep the purpose of your writing in mind before you begin and to write clearly and succinctly – is also good advice for evaluators. I also relied on the work of our evaluation rock star friends, Stephanie Evergreen, Ann Emery, and Kylie Hutchinson, to provide the group with references and resources. And thank you, Johanna Morariu of the Innovation Network, for letting me lug home enough copies of the State of Evaluation 2012 Report, from the AEA conference so that the group could see an innovative report and discuss how they could adapt similar design and reporting principles in their work. The designers and artists in the group contributed to a lively discussion.

I hope that the conference was useful to everybody who came. You can download my slides here and take a look at the tweets from the day at #OPEGFall13. I’ll keep you posted on the call for proposals and details about the OPEG 2014 Spring Exchange.