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To our valued users, members and friends, We invite you to take a moment to read this message from the BetterEvaluation team: Our world is changing rapidly.

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Organisations around the world are quickly having to adapt their programme and project activities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, and evaluation needs to match this. We’re starting a new blog series on BetterEvaluation to help support these efforts. We’ll also be creating a complementary thematic area on the BetterEvaluation website to gather this information and associated resources in a more permanent and accessible manner.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly transforming our world.  Individuals, communities and organisations are facing enormous challenges and uncertainty. Limited resources have been further stretched by the climate crisis and unprecedented natural disasters. These global challenges put the Sustainable Development Goals at risk and threaten the well-being of people and the planet.

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Defra (the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) commissioned CECAN (the Centre for Evaluation Complexity Across the Nexus) to deliver a Complexity Evaluation Framework (CEF). The primary purpose of this framework is to equip Defra commissioners of evaluation (which may include analysts and policy makers), with a checklist of core considerations to ensure that evaluations are robust and sufficiently consider the implications of complexity theory. The framework is intended to increase the use and usability of evaluation for both commissioned and internally-led evaluation across the department. The final output is intended to be an actionable complexity evaluation framework, accompanied by a supporting evidence report to be used as a resource in commissioning evaluation.
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Meetings and gatherings are vital components of evaluation, including planning meetings, meetings to engage stakeholders, interviews or focus groups for data collection, data parties to analyse or review results, and meetings or events as part of the process of reporting and supporting use. However, as the global effort to contain the COVID-19 virus ramps up, many event organisers are rethinking the wisdom of holding in-person gatherings.

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Often referred to as 'visual note-taking', graphic recording is a method that merges data collection and reporting to create a visual record of a discussion. In this blog, Alice Macfarlan asks graphic recorder Katherine Haugh about her work and passion for translating what she hears into a visual recollection of key points that can be shared with a group in real-time. Katherine is also the author of BetterEvaluation's option page on graphic recording.

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