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Evaluation comic 3.0! Oranges to apples: Measuring what counts

Evaluation comic 3.0! Oranges to apples: Measuring what counts

With two comics done, we naturally felt that our third comic should focus on fruit. Indeed, as we note in the first frame, fruit is part of a healthy community. Yet, as with all our comics, this one has many layers.

It should therefore not surprise you that this comic isn’t really about fruit, but about measuring what matters. In this comic, we start with our protagonist who is visiting a website to learn how his fruit project will become the 9,079th successful fruit project that makes a difference and prints off an evaluation form. All is well.

Unfortunately, upon further examination in the second frame, our protagonist is shocked to learn that the evaluation form is only asking questions about one type of fruit: apples!

In the third frame, our protagonist’s shock turns to worry as we see that his would be successful fruit project produces oranges rather than apples. (The subtext in this frame asks the existential question: are oranges not fruit too?)

However, in the final frame, our protagonist has figured out an ingenious solution and with the help of a little red paint, has made his many oranges look like apples so as to satisfy the narrow evaluation requirements.

The takeaway

This comic highlights an issue we have heard a lot about from the sector. When nonprofits are asked to measure that which is not relevant to them, there can be confusion, frustration, and even a little bit of manipulation all in an attempt to satisfy requirements. We don’t know how our hero got into this situation. Clearly, there wasn’t much discussion with his funder about the purpose of the evaluation or what information would be useful for him to collect and analyze. Somehow though, he ended up with a form to download and complete. Comic gold perhaps, but far from an ideal real world evaluation.

 


Check out the rest of the Evaluation Comic Series

View Comic 1   View Comic 2

Calling all comic enthusiasts

We’ve had a lot of fun trying to express the nuances of the issues that can arise in evaluation. Now, we’d like to turn it over to you! Do you have an issue with evaluation that you’ve always thought would make for a great comic? If so, we want to see what you’ve got. Whether you’re a professional artist or a side-of-the-desk doodler, we invite you to share your visual creations with us.

Using either pen/pencil & paper or your computer, we invite you to create your own evaluation comic and share it with us in one of two ways:

1. Send your creation in an email to Ben: ben@theonn.ca

2. Tweet your creation at us @o_n_n with the hashtag #RethinkEval

With your permission, we’ll share our favourites out to our network.

Looking for inspiration?

Here are a few examples:

Happy doodling!


Ben Liadsky
Ben Liadsky

Ben is ONN's Evaluation Program Associate. Ben joined the ONN in 2015, bringing over six years of experience working in the nonprofit sector in a variety of capacities from project management to fundraising to communications. He holds a master’s degree in International Studies with specialization in Global Environmental Policy from the University of Northern British Columbia where his research focused on the role of local governments and transnational environmental networks in addressing climate change. When not reading away, he can be found on his bike - if you can catch him that is.

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