Thursday, June 04, 2020

Unpacking a Social Change Board Game Dealing with Sexual Violence Prevention: Empowerment and Participatory Evaluation

Choices:  A Social Change Board Game 
Dealing With Sexual Violence Prevention

Choices is the name of a social change board game dealing with sexual violence.  The participatory and collaborative practices that went into developing this game are described by Dr. Maritza Concha, Lecturer at the University of Central Florida and President of Covian Consulting, Dr. Maria Elena Villar, Associate Professor at Florida International University and Vice President of Covian Consulting, and Samantha Ford, junior evaluator and project coordinator at Covian Consulting

Participatory and Collaborative Practices

Recently, we have seen the emergence of social change games as comprehensive induction tools for intervening on critical issues. Social change games facilitate persuasive processes through 

(1) creating scenarios that are fictional yet probable
(2) being structured around specific goals 
(3) benefit from increased interactivity (i.e., providing immediate feedback). 

In April 2019 we were awarded the Innovation Grant by The Children’s Trust to form a partnership with local service providers in Homestead, Florida with a goal to increase reporting of youth sexual violence from the bystander perspective by creating an immersive, relatable social change board game. 

To ensure that our board game was relevant to youth in Homestead, service providers recruited youth they worked with to develop the game with us. Twelve youth between the ages of 14 and 18 collaborated with our consultants and service providers over 10 development meetings. 

They were trained in interviewing tactics and went out into their community to gather stories about their peers’ experiences with sexual violence.  Trainings were also conducted to familiarize youth with different aspects of board games, including specific considerations for social change board games. 

When it comes to developing a project around a sensitive topic such as sexual violence, particularly when youth are involved, there were several steps we took. 

First, we made an effort to create a trusting environment for youth and service providers present during these meetings. By engaging in some fun icebreakers, we encouraged members of our partnership to get to know one another and feel comfortable sharing. 

Second, we encouraged youth to lead the conversations during meetings, emphasizing their expertise. The board game presents players with scenarios that put them in the shoes of a bystander. Each game will last about 25 minutes and will be facilitated by a trained professional to encourage a conscious conversation about youth sexual violence among players. 

After pilot testing in April and May and final adjustments, the board game will be provided free of charge to service providers in Homestead to educate the community about youth sexual violence. Preliminary evaluation of CHO!CES shows the game to be a promising practice in sexual violence interventions. 

If you have any questions about this initiative, you can contact Dr. Maritza Concha at

Monday, May 25, 2020

Empowerment Evaluation and COVID-19

Empowerment Evaluation and COVID-19: 

Helping Communities Cope, Adapt, and Plan for the Future

ARTD Consultants invited me to present a Business as Unusual Webinar about Empowerment Evaluation and COVID-19. The focus was on using empowerment evaluation remotely to help communities and organizations adapt to COVID-19 and plan for the transition as restrictions lift (with masks and appropriate social distancing).


The webinar was divided into 3 parts (to facilitate use and minimize overload or fatigue):


1)    introduction or overview (including theory and principles)


2)    the 3 steps (mission, taking stock, and planning for the future)


3)    a demonstration of how to use empowerment evaluation remotely (including Zoom, Google Sheets, and Google Forms)


It was engaging and useful. 

They produced a summary of the webinar titled: Building Trust Through Empowerment Evaluation.  


Contact me at or Jade Mahoney for additional details at ARTD Consultants.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Evaluation Association of St. Louis Empowerment Evaluation Webinar

Evaluation Association of St. Louis 
Empowerment Evaluation Webinar
(with Dr. David Fetterman)

Evaluation Association of St Louis' Empowerment Evaluation (EASL) Webinar was Tuesday, May 12, 2020. Matt Feldmann, EASL President and Megan Ondr-Cooper, Program Chair, invited me (David Fetterman) to highlight essential features of empowerment evaluation. (They won the hour with me with a winning bid at the American Evaluation Association's Silent Auction.) A brief overview of the topics we will cover is presented below:

Empowerment evaluation is a stakeholder involvement approach to evaluation. It is aimed at learning and improving. It helps people learn how to help themselves and become more self-determined, by learning how to monitor and evaluate their own programs and initiatives. Key concepts include a critical friend (evaluator helping to guide their evaluation), cycles of reflection and action, and a community of learners. Principles guiding empowerment evaluation range from improvement to capacity building and accountability. Contact Matt and Megan for additional details.

Most of the empowerment evaluation webinar was recorded and is available for review.  

The password is: 3a^746cr

Friday, May 08, 2020

Free Recorded Empowerment Evaluation Webinar in India

Recorded Interview About Empowerment Evaluation with Dr. Fetterman

In case you missed it this morning see Dr. Rajib Nandi's email:

Dear Colleagues,

ECOI successfully conducted a Webinar on Empowerment Evaluation in association with SLWvA Sri Lanka and InDEC Indonesia. Dr. David Fetterman made an excellent presentation.
Those who could not join the Webinar you may please access the recording through ECOI's Facebook page:

Warm regards,


Rajib Nandi, M.Phil, Ph.D
Research Fellow and Office-in-Charge
Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST)
(In special consultative status with United Nation's Economic and Social Council)

It is also available for viewing on YouTube

Friday, May 01, 2020

Empowerment Evaluation Webinar in India (Register)

Empowerment Evaluation Webinar in India
by Dr. David Fetterman

Empowerment Evaluation Webinar. Learn more about how to help nonprofits, for-profits, communities, schools, and hospitals, evaluate their own performance in order to reach their goals.
Rituu Nanda invited Dr. David Fetterman to present an empowerment evaluation webinar for colleagues in India. 

Mr. Aniruddha Brahmachari will be the moderator. 

The date in India was May 8th at 6:30 pm. Register at:

Brief Description of the Webinar

Empowerment evaluation is a stakeholder involvement approach to evaluation. It is aimed at learning and improvement. It helps people learn how to help themselves and become more self-determined, by learning how to monitor and evaluate their own programs and initiatives. Key concepts include: a critical friend (evaluator helping to guide their evaluation), cycles of reflection and action, and a community of learners. Principles guiding empowerment evaluation range from improvement to capacity building and accountability. The basic steps of empowerment evaluation include: 1) establishing a mission or unifying purpose; 2) taking stock – a baseline self-assessment designed to help measure growth and improvement; and 3) planning for the future – establishing goals and strategies to achieve objectives (based on their self-assessment), as well as credible evidence to monitor change. An evaluation dashboard is used to compare actual performance with quarterly milestones and annual goals. The role of the evaluator is that of a coach or facilitator in an empowerment evaluation, since the group is in charge of the evaluation itself. The webinar will highlight how empowerment evaluation produces measurable outcomes with case examples ranging from high tech companies such as Google and Hewlett-Packard to work in rural Arkansas and squatter settlements in South Africa. The webinar will also introduce participants to the theory, concepts, principles, and steps of empowerment evaluation as well as the technological tools to facilitate the approach.

Time:  May 8, 2020 06:30 PM in India

James Penn Interviews David Fetterman About Empowerment Evaluation

Interview with Dr. David Fetterman About Empowerment Evaluation
by James Pann

Dr. James Pann, Associate Professor, Nova Southeastern University, interviewed Dr. David Fetterman about empowerment evaluation for domestic and international evaluation communities. 

He highlights many empowerment evaluation case examples within the context of the larger stakeholder involvement approach to evaluation landscape.

It is on YouTube at: 

Please contact Drs. Pann or Fetterman for additional collaborative, participatory, and empowerment evaluation tools and resources.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Teaching Empowerment Evaluation Online

Teaching Empowerment Evaluation at Pacifica Graduate Institute Online

Teaching Empowerment Evaluation Online with Zoom and Google Sheets at Pacifica Graduate Institute. COVID-19 has transformed many graduate programs across the nation from face-to-face to online communities. We used Zoom to establish and maintain a personal exchange. Google Sheets allowed us to enter data together as a group and then use the compiled data as a springboard for discussion and analysis. Desire to Learn (D2L) online classroom software and Dropbox were used to facilitate and record assignments. The class was engaging and productive (with minor technical glitches which are part of the state-of-the-art).

Graduate students are engaging in the third step of an empowerment evaluation - taking stock.  This involves rating how well they are doing concerning key activities associated with their program and the mission of the program.  The ratings form the basis for their dialogue and discussion and set the stage for planning for the future.

This is a Zoom screen snapshot of Pacifica Graduate Institute faculty discussing how well the online classes went, what innovations were made, and how we might improve teaching online in the future. One observation I shared was that the empowerment evaluation class appears to have gone well in large part because the class involved graduate students evaluating their own program. This made the classroom real, relevant, and cultivated a sense of ownership. It was a very honest session designed to help each other with innovation adaptations, student input, and our own insights into both the technical and physiological stresses and stains of learning online.

Friday, February 07, 2020

Data Use Consulting Group and ARCHES Empowerment Evaluation

DataUse Empowerment Evaluation Workshop

Dr. Paul St. Roseman  (Principal, DataUse Consulting Group) and Sharon Twitty (Executive Director, ARCHES) facilitated a DataUse Empowerment Evaluation Workshop at a Career Success Network Convening. 
It was hosted by the Alliance for Regional Collaboration to Heighten Educational Success (ARCHES).    The goal was to facilitate a collaborative data analysis process that encouraged and supported dialogue, inquiry, decision making, strategic planning, and continuous learning.  Participants included the executive leadership team and data scientist from Educational Results Partnership.  In addition, representatives from the following regions in California were engaged:  Stanislaus, Santa Cruz, and Tulare-Kings.
They were divided into workgroups (focusing on each region). The executive leadership and data scientist worked with each workgroup and served the role of critical friend and technical support. 
Participants completed two activities.  Activity One (60 minutes) focused on collaborative data analysis.  Participants were asked to frame their approach to supporting one another while they reviewed the data. 
This was followed by a collaborative review and analysis of the data set.  Participants considered what the data presented, what it could and could not answer, as well as the strengths and challenges it presented. 
For Activity Two (30 minutes), participants mapped challenges identified in the first activity to strategies that could be administered across the regional collaborative.  Participants also discussed and documented the benefits that may emerge from the strategies.  Each group compiled their work and entered it into Google document worksheets on an activity webpage.  They were encouraged to review each other’s work through a virtual gallery walk and had opportunities to discuss key learnings from session experiences.
At the conclusion of the session, an evaluation (using Google Forms) was administered to regional collaborative participants.  95% of eligible respondents completed the form and 90% of respondents rated the session as excellent (55%) to very good (35%).
 Comments converged across three themes: Session Content, Data, and Collaboration.  Participants appreciated session content and activities.  They communicated that they were thoughtful, well designed, informative and relevant.  The ability to collaborate with participants was also a highlight.  Being exposed to varied perspectives and roles enriched dialogue as well as opportunities to learn.  Participants also indicated that they were able to share and define next steps; in addition, they expected to use what was developed during the convening.  Indicators measuring each item exceeded 80%.