Design – creative, unconventional, fluffy. Evaluation – analytical, rigorous, safe.
What could each possibly bring to the other? And who would be interested? A few people it turns out.
In September we co-hosted the sold-out Design and Evaluation for Impact, Converge and workshops with our Evaluation partners Clear Horizon in Melbourne, as well as our good friends at the Auckland Co-Design Lab and The Southern Initiative – all supported by the Australian Evaluation Society. During the workshops we explored how evaluation can support design and design can support evaluation. All in the name of more rigorous social innovation.
Whilst design and evaluation may seem like unnatural bedfellows the truth is that they are both evaluative processes concerned with impact. And the rigour and safety of evaluation provides a great compliment for the creative and unconventional nature of design.
At the day one workshop we named four ways design and evaluation can come together, by the end of the conference it was up to five, and with a little more reflection here I’ve stretched it to eight. And only one of these is evaluating pilots for outcomes.