In addition to having full-length reports about evaluations, shorter communications—such as bulletins, briefs, newsletters, blogs and brochures—can be used to highlight particular findings or angles on the evaluation.
Shorter communications formats can help generate interest in learning more about the full evaluation findings, as well as attracting the attention of a wider audience. They can be used to invite feedback (particularly if they are available on-line), provide updates, report upcoming evaluation events, or present preliminary or final findings.
These short communications differ in the following ways:
- Bulletin or Brief: This offers a very short, “brief” format – either a frequently-circulated update on project progress or a short presentation of evaluation results. It can also be used to present changes decided - for example in a “policy brief” or a bulletin summarising “lessons learned”.
- Newsletter: This is longer than the other types and generally follows a newspaper format, following a regular theme and at regular intervals. This can include articles about evaluation findings and more analytical themes.
- Blog: The “weblog” is more of an informal discussion piece that can probe more deeply into analysis of a particular question or finding from the evaluations - for example as part of a series of “Stories from the field” (see more on Blogs under Website communicationsLINK).
- Brochure: Simple folded leaflet or pamphlet used to attract attention to your organization, usually for PR purposes. You can highlight a particular positive impact statement from an evaluation in a brochure, for example.
Source: ("Zambia National Malaria Centre," 2009)
Advice for CHOOSING this option (tips and traps)
- These short communications are very attractive and useful when attending an event, workshop or conference, to provide a snapshot of information about evaluation results and your organization
- A newsletter often has a list of interested subscribers and can be the option chosen when you need to inform that particular audience about ongoing developments.
- Whichever format you choose depends on the resources available, and whether your audience has access to the internet or not.
Advice for USING this option (tips and traps)
- Regardless of the option chosen, they should be visually attractive and easy to read through the use of different colours, layouts, photographs, and varied headings and graphics.
- Newsletter: An example of a newsletter from Oxfam Australia Diamond Valley Group.
- Bulletin/Brief: An example of a bulletin from International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development.
- Blog/Weblog: An example of a blog from Oxfam Australia.
- Brochure: An example of a brochure from Save the Children USA.
- Newsletter Templates: Free newsletter templates from About.com
- MailChimp: This tool allows the user to design email newsletters and then distribute and integrate them with their current social media and communication networks.
- Stetson, V. Catholic Relief Services and American Red Cross, (2008). Communicating and reporting on an evaluation: Guidelines and tools. Retrieved from website: http://www.crsprogramquality.org/storage/pubs/me/MEmodule_communicating.pdf
- Zambia National Malaria Control Centre, (2009). Zambia national malaria control centre monitoring and evaluation newsletter. Retrieved from website: http://www.nmcc.org.zm/files/NMCC-ME-newsletter_dec_09.pdf