Connection. Communication. How important is it that you communicate; that you connect?

In reading over some of the comments I have received through this blog, I came upon this partial quote. (Partial because I didn’t report all of it; the remaining is not relevant.)

“I personally…think (blogging) as a one way channel to transfer any information you have over the web.”

Certainly, transferring information about evaluation from me to you, the reader, is this person’s view of blogging.

There has been a lot in the press (among others) over the last several years about avoiding “blue light” and connecting to real people. People with whom you are friendly; they might even be your friends. (I’m not talking about Facebook.) I’m talking about connections; communications. Talking to people face to face. Real connections. Real communications.


Professor Peter Cohen  says (in talking about addiction) “…that human beings have a deep need to bond and form connections. It’s how we get our satisfaction. If we can’t connect with each other, we will connect with anything we can find…He says we should stop talking about ‘addiction’ altogether, and instead call it ‘bonding.’” Bonding. It relates to connections; to communication.

So you are probably wondering how this relates to evaluation.

Let me see if I can make it clear to you.

Evaluators cannot work in isolation. (Oh, I suppose they can if they are hermits or know everything about everything and who does?)

Having worked as a community-based program evaluator for a long (read very long) time, I see myself as a generalist. Although I’ve worked with health programs , nutrition programs, natural resource programs , they all had one thing in common–they set out to change the lives of the participants who came from the community. To understand what they were doing with the program being evaluated, I asked questions. I listened to what they said about the program. I worked with a team of content experts. The program leaders knew about the content, the specifics; I knew about how to determine if the program made a difference, if the program had value, merit, worth.

In the long run, I “bonded” with the program team. I connected with them around their program. And in that process, I communicated with them. It is always a two way street.

Evaluators, through evaluation, communicate. Evaluators connect.

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2 thoughts on “Communication. Connection.

  1. Hi Molly,

    I stumbled upon your site actually on another post and one after the other am fascinated by your thought process. It is nice to see you documenting everything and it felt like i know you since a long time as a person. Connection is to key to any living being. You can connect literally with anything in this world including living and non living things. I think hobbies are one of the main things that allow you to connect as well. I connect with music more than humans, but thats just me.Anyways nice reading what you write. Will be back for

  2. I appreciate that you were candid about how you got to my post. As a scientist (albeit, a social scientist), I think it is important to document what I write. Yes, blogs can be a journal of sorts–reflecting on what is experienced, seen, heard, etc. Yet, when I think of posting a blog, maybe because I tend to focus on evaluation, I think of that blog as an extension of the work I do and that work needs to be documented. Connection is the way people interact whether it is with music, cooking, gardening, evaluation, or other topics, I believe that connecting is important. I also believe that there needs to be a balance between interaction and quiet time. The balance is what is important. Give yourself permission to find that balance.

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