Another word for use
Another word for utilization is use; how does one use the information gathered? What does one do with what it knows?
I’m reading a book by Warren Bennis, the American scholar who pioneered the contemporary field of leadership studies. He died in July 2014. The book, called Why leaders can’t lead: The unconscious conspiracy continues, was first written in 1989, and many references are old (read Nixon, Regan). No matter; still relevant, like walking into the world of American politics TODAY (see page 99, specifically on wins and losses).
Use the reports
Now, Michael Quinn Patton (who has written a lot on a lot of topics) writes books on utilization .
The 4th edition of Utilization-Focused Evaluation is 667 pages and the Essentials is 461 pages. (I confess that I’ve only read the preface and scattered other pages of the 667 page version.)
For those of you who do not know Michael, he is the founder and director of Utilization-Focused Evaluation. He says that it is important to use the results of evaluation. Patton advocates that evaluations should be designed with careful consideration of how everything is done.
You (the evaluator) can design evaluations that ensure their usefulness. Long reports may typically never get read or never result in any practical changes.
Utilization-focused evaluation is a process that helps intended (read primary) users make decisions about the evaluation. Patton “support(s) evaluation designed for intended use by intended users.” Continue reading