2020 clarity – the year to get clear on the change you make.

With hindsight representing 2020 clarity, we asked some of our evaluation experts and course facilitators to reflect on their learnings from last year, and how these will influence their work and learning goals for 2020. Here’s what they had to say.

Dr Jess Dart, CEO
What were your biggest professional learnings of 2019?
2019 was a big year of learnings for me. I’ve been doing some really exciting work on systems change, in particular, working as a developmental evaluator on a collaborative design program exploring the different types of leadership development needed for the complexity of school contexts today.

As a multidisciplinary team, the first six months have been about how we best work together as people with very diverse views and skills sets. We all had to learn how to be learners as well as bringing our expertise to the table. At times, I learned it was best to not offer too much by way of evaluation frameworks or plans, and just be a learner with everyone else. So perhaps my biggest professional learning is about learning how to let go of my tools of the trade and sit in the crazy world of systems change!

How will this affect how you approach your work in 2020?
When working as a developmental evaluator, I am going to be confident that the right thing to do is to move slowly into the role of evaluator. I am going to sit like an anthropologist and take in the context, and gradually build out the evaluation framework as the work becomes clearer. So it will be a bit like ‘slow cooked’ evaluation.

Is there anything specifically you’d like to learn in 2020? Any learning events or opportunities you’re looking forward to?
I am super excited to be working with Kate McKegg and Jamie Gamble on a Developmental evaluation Masterclass in March through the AES. Mark Cabaj is also touring Australia and I can’t wait to catch up with him and geek out on evaluation for place-based approaches. Lastly, I’m really looking forward to making Clear Horizon Academy’s complete Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning available as an online, modular learning experience – it’s going to be great!

Jenny Riley, Chief Innovation Officer
What were your biggest professional learnings of 2019?
I learnt a great deal about digital transformation, and how it is already radically changing business models and how it can improve the work of the social sector. I also became a certified Agile practitioner, recognising the need for agility, flexibility and ongoing testing and learning in our complex environments.

How will this affect how you approach your work in 2020?
This year I’ll be focused on improving our data analytics capability and moving our digital team to working in short sprints, so planning, doing, learning. I want to ensure we do really good requirements gathering and change management to support our clients.

Is there anything specifically you’d like to learn in 2020? Any learning events or opportunities you’re looking forward to?
I want to learn Python in 2020 the go to language for data science. I have already taught myself HTML, PHP and Java…am such a geek when it comes to learning!

Carina Calzoni, General Manager
What were your biggest professional learnings of 2019?
The importance of good, clear, frequent communication was one of the biggest learnings for me. We often are running really fast and plans change, and it’s really easy to leave people behind. It can quickly look like chaos to those around you if you haven’t kept them fully informed along the way.

How will this affect how you approach your work in 2020?
A lot more deliberate about keeping people informed about what we are doing, what’s changed and why. And doing this often.

Is there anything specifically you’d like to learn in 2020? Any learning events or opportunities you’re looking forward to?
I’d like to learn about place-based approaches applied across different sectors. I’d also like to learn about Power BI and building effective dashboards that can be linked to decision making.

If professional development in the evaluation and impact measurement space form part of your 2020 learning goals, we invite you to check out our upcoming courses!

Note: NGO workers, students and Australian Evaluation Society members are eligible for a 15% discount on our courses.

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Jess Dart sq

Dr Jess Dart

CEO & Founder

Inventor of practical methodologies and highly demanded facilitator, Jess navigates complexity with comfort and helps her clients to become clear about their desired outcomes and how to get there.

Recipient of the 2018 AES Award for outstanding contribution to evaluation, Jess has over 25 years experience in evaluating and designing social change initiatives and strategies in Australia and overseas.

In October 2005, Jess founded Clear Horizon Consulting and is now CEO. She is also a board member of the Australasian Evaluation society.

Jess is passionate about developing and designing real world evaluation and strategy for social justice and sustainability. She particularly works with systems change interventions, large scale strategy and social innovation. After completing her PhD she co-authored the Most Significant Change (MSC) guide alongside Dr Rick Davies, which is now translated into 12 different languages.

MSC is well suited to evaluation in the complex emergent context. The latest innovation by Jess, Collaborative Outcomes Reporting (COR), is a collaborative form of impact evaluation.

Jess is also an active mum and has two teenage boys. In a quiet moment, she loves reading far-future science fiction and enjoys long distance running.

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