Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Services
Program Evaluation, Monitoring & Evaluation
Monitoring, evaluation and quality improvement assessment are important opportunities for growth. They are also increasingly required by funders. As an experienced evaluation researcher, I can serve as your external evaluator, or simply work with you to check in on your programs, track your progress or identify goals and objectives.
I take a collaborative, feminist approach to evaluation, with a focus on reflection and working together. I see my role as an evaluator as one of nurturing, celebrating your successes and supporting your growth. Inclusion and equity are top priorities for me, and I'm able to engage effectively with all your stakeholder groups, ensuring that all voices are heard and taken seriously. I'm creative and thorough, and can produce evaluation reports and other communication products that honor your values, highlight your strengths and provide meaningful, practical and co-created next steps.
I'm an experienced outside evaluator, having conducted monitoring and evaluation for several state and federally funded programs, including the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. I'm skilled in facilitating community-led and participatory evaluations, as well as more traditional evaluation research. I would love to help you design an evaluation plan or logic model, identify or create appropriate evaluation instruments (surveys, interview guides etc.), conduct an outside evaluation or help you share evaluation findings with stakeholders.
Research and Research Partnerships
I'm trained as a social science researcher, with a background in qualitative, participatory and action-oriented research and community-based participatory research. While working in academia is not the path for me (respect to all of y'all holding it down in that environment!), I have experience designing and conducting creative research that hopefully advances community priorities. I enjoy the research process, at least how I do it: identifying a problem or priority, bringing more voices to the table (or, you know, repeatedly shushing Gene and Kevin* and the other old, self-important white men taking up all the air so it suddenly seems like new voices have appeared out of nowhere when they finally shut their faceholes...), figuring out what questions to ask and how to ask them, getting new perspectives, and collaboratively finding some answers and a lot of new questions.
**Gene is the blowhard trying to reduce all of our lived experience and resistance to numbers. Kevin is that old dude who talks over you to say that he gets it, totally, because the Irish were slaves once, in some ahistorical land he made up, not Kevin the tortoise who lives in my bathroom and scares my pit bull. Gene and Kevin the person and all their friends are not the future, cuz they're just getting older and we're just getting stronger and queerer. Kevin the tortoise is gonna outlive us all, though. Those creatures live forever.
Research is also slowly becoming more integrated, with more room for activists and citizen-scientists (people without formal training who do scientific work in the community, for example counting the number of butterflies they see each spring to track the impact of climate change). Partnering with a researcher is often a great way for community groups and non-profits to access resources and funding for their work. In these cases, I can serve as the academic/researcher partner myself, or I can help you get connected to other, more traditional researchers, and then navigate these partnerships, building solid, equitable relationships that further your goals.
I can also design research strategies, help obtain research or joint (research and programs) funding, develop instruments like surveys or interviews for measuring stuff that's important to you, including nuance, conduct focus groups, interviews and other ways of getting information, liaise with and translate the academic world, analyze data, and prepare and present information in accessible language and formats. I'm strategic, insightful and flexible, and ready to meet your research needs of all sizes, from conducting a focus group or two to leading large scale data analyses.
I especially love the intersections of research, activism and art. In its essence, research is about information, and control of that information. I'm very clear about where the control belongs. Because good research is about telling and even reclaiming the stories instead facts, it can be a useful tool for social change, for justice. I'm experienced in art-based research methods like Photo Voice and Digital Storytelling, where participants create powerful, media-based narratives that speak to research questions. I bring my activist experience and my social justice analysis to all my research work, with a focus using what we learn to fuel action. Knowledge without action isn't worth much, but our stories are powerful fuel.
“I believe in living. I believe in birth. I believe in the sweat of love and in the fire of truth. And i believe that a lost ship, steered by tired, seasick sailors, can still be guided home to port.” ― Assata Shakur