Cartoons can be a helpful addition to formal reports. They can allow readers to see a point differently, add humour, and break up large sections of prose.
Some evaluators work closely with cartoonists and commission specific illustrations. Other evaluators use stock images that are available on the web. You can also create your own cartoons using a range of readily available software. Consider how you want to include the right images for your report.
Cartoon images can be used by evaluators to an understanding of program impact, scenes of program implementation, main findings or issues. Advantages of using cartoons are communicating with low-level readers, bridging language barriers, and stimulating dialogue and reflection among stakeholders about the findings illustrated.
For an example of this, check out the blog by Lucy Lambe on the London School of Economics and Political Science LSE Impact Blog.
Do you have other examples of where this option has been used?
Advice for CHOOSING this option (tips and traps)
- Provide advice to the evaluators on the organizational context and receptivity of your institution to cartoons.
Advice for USING this option (tips and traps)
- Some audiences may not value cartoons. Ensure that your audience sees this form of communication as credible prior to developing cartoons lest this detracts from the evaluation report and findings. Test the cultural appropriateness of cartoons with your audience.
- Consider keeping a file of images for use in other contexts.
- Toonlet: This web-based application makes it possible to draw cartoons, by creating characters and then placing them into the panels of a cartoon with appropriate text.
- Evaluation cartoons and comics: This website provides a range of 'stock' cartoons on the evaluation theme.
Torres, R., Preskill, H., & Piontek, M. E. (2005).Evaluation strategies for communicating and reporting, enhancing learning in organizations. (Second ed.). Sage. Retrieved from http://www.sagepub.com/books/Book225545