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Experimenting with animaiton to present evaluation findings

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Experimenting with animaiton to present evaluation findings

We are in the information age. Our daily lives are inundated with information. Many of us watch the news, check the weather and look at our e-mails before even getting out of bed. Surprisingly, when it comes to evaluation results, we are still communicating in the same information style of the past: a report! We can do our best to format reports in a more user friendly ways, to separate the key messages from the detailed analysis in appendices and to add pictures and diagrams, as we have done in the case of the full evaluation report of the Global Humanitarian Partnership between C&A, C&A Foundation and Save the Children. Still, a report is a report…

We are convinced that new ways of communicating the results of evaluations are necessary. To innovate in the presentation of results is a shared responsibility between us, consultants, and the clients who commission the evaluations. However, as with any innovation, it is not easy and we fail many times before we succeed.

In our commitment to create new ways of working, we have piloted the use of animation to talk about the results of the partnership in Brazil. Isabela Souza, our Principal Consultant, visited the country, leading the evaluation and its programme scope was more digestible for a short animation, compared to the other countries visited. The country results are also presented in Annex IV of the full evaluation report.

This was our first ever animation and the intent was primarily to experiment with a different communication channel. The initial animation (above) was 13min long and the feedback was very mixed. Some Save the Children staff on the ground really enjoyed it and said it made it easier for them to understand the evaluation results. Some C&A staff mentioned that it was too long and the narrator’s voice too boring (it had a monotone British accent).

After this feedback, we have produced a 2nd take with a short version (below). This time, Isabela recorded the audio and the lenght came to 7 min. We believe that this is still too long, as people seem to have shorter and shorter attention spam. Maybe in a future version, we will try 2 1/2 min, which seems to be the norm nowadays.

More broadly, beyond short or long animations or a combination of different length animations for different audiences, what this pilot has demonstrated is that it is possible to innovate. However, for new ways of communicating results to work in practice, we will need to have innovation embedded in the evaluation process, rather than an extra add-on pilot, which was the case with these animations shared here.

Isabela Souza