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Deal for NCDDers on Tamarack’s Evaluating Community Impact workshops

Many of us in the NCDD network are part of community-based initiatives for creating change, in local government, healthcare, poverty, education, and numerous other arenas. And while we know it is important to stand back and evaluate the impact we are making on these issues and how to do things better, we often don’t know how to evaluate the effects of our work in meaningful ways.

That is why we are pleased to invite NCDD members to participate in a great program run by our friends at the Tamarack Institute called Evaluating Community Impact: Capturing and Making Sense of Community Outcomes. This high-quality program is being offered this June in Halifax, and again in Winnipeg in November.

We are so impressed by the program and its potential to benefit our community of practitioners that NCDD recently signed on as a sponsor of the initiative. In fact, we are willing to subsidize part of the registration costs of supporting NCDD members (whose dues are in good standing) if you commit to sharing some of your learnings and observations from the workshop with the rest of the network here on the blog. If you are interested in learning more about attending with an NCDD sponsorship, please email sandy@ncdd.org for more information.

So what is the program all about? Tamarack describes the initiative this way:

Evaluating Community Impact: Capturing and Making Sense of Community Outcomes is a three-day workshop intended to provide those who are funding, planning, and implementing community change initiatives with an opportunity to learn the latest and most practical evaluation ideas and practices.

This workshop is best suited to those who have an interest and some basic experience with evaluation but are eager to tackle the challenging but critical task of getting feedback on local efforts to change communities.


There is a lot that goes into doing quality program evaluation, so the workshop focuses on covering key skill sets and topics for evaluation. The learning agenda for the workshops includes:

  • Models and dynamics of community change, i.e. theories of change
  • Evaluative thinking, utilization focused evaluation, and developmental evaluation
  • Program evaluation and the evaluation of community change evaluation
  • “Measuring” systems change, dealing with unanticipated outcomes, attributing outcomes to change activities and participatory sense-making
  • Evaluation Planning Tools and Outcome Evaluation Tools

You can get a taste of some of the content of the Evaluating Community Impact initiative by checking out Tamarack faculty member Liz Weaver’s recent article in Engage! magazine, Evaluation: An Essential Learning Resource.

We highly encourage NCDD members to find out more about the Evaluating Community Impact program at http://events.tamarackcommunity.org/evaluating-community-impact. The program was overbooked last year, so we encourage you to register today for the Halifax event this June or sign up for the Winnepeg event in November.

We hope that many of you will take advantage of this great opportunity and the chance to share what you learn with the NCDD community. Don’t forget to write to Sandy at sandy@ncdd.org if you plan on attending. We hope to see you there!

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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