Inciter | CRC Team
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Dispatched to China

Over the past several years I've had the privilege of splitting my time between Inciter (until recently, CRC) -- approximately half time each as an evaluator and as program staff at an arts and human services nonprofit, Make Studio. Throughout this time, I've found that wearing two hats and having two sets of experiences to draw from has helped me to work smarter and better (only sometimes harder), for the benefit of my evaluation clients and program recipients. On the occasion of the recent launch of our new name, Inciter, I wanted to share an experience that I had this spring that reflects how my two working worlds can collide. And, gives an idea of how we at Inciter pride ourselves on applying our "evaluation-in-the-real-world" lens wherever we are. Putting this...

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Why the Hell was Taj at a Design Conference and What Did She Learn There?

By: Taj  Last week I was at the Interaction Design conference. Now, you probably know that evaluation and design don’t exactly go hand-in-hand, so I understand if your next thought is a befuddled, “Huh?” You don’t usually find evaluators at a design conference.  So, was I just hopping a plane to San Francisco in February because of the awesome weather and the cool town? Well, not exactly, although I have to say those were both nice perks of being there. Did I travel to San Fran for some much needed R&R and to clear my head? Not entirely, but I do always feel inspired and innovative when I’m there. (And it’s a bit surreal to go by the Uber headquarters in your Uber.)      The truth is, I’ve been doing a ton of reading and...

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CRC’s 2014 In Review

[caption id="attachment_1742" align="aligncenter" width="600" class=" "] Warm Winter Tidings from all of us at CRC![/caption]   We've had an extraordinarily busy year, and are so pleased to have shared much of it with you!   This month, rather than a blog with evaluation-related info and tips, we're once again ending our work year together by taking looks back and forward.   Along with continuing to provide high quality evaluation and data services to clients -- both existing and new for 2014 -- Carson Research has completed its long-term project of updating our branding and communications so that they better reflect what we do and who we serve. Heading into 2015, we hope you'll become used to hearing from us as simply "CRC", in addition to calling us that to save breath and/or typing time.    To quickly...

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AEA 2014 Recap

by Mandolin Singleton Last month I attended the 2014 American Evaluation Association conference in Denver, CO. 2014's conference theme was “Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future.” The event brought together research and evaluation professionals from all over the globe and from a variety of disciplines (e.g., community psychology, health and human services, PreK-12 educational evaluation). Attendees were encouraged to explore ways in which evaluation could be used to support sustainability and equality across disciplines and sectors.  This year’s conference was especially exciting (as well as nerve-wrecking) for me because I was attending as a first time conference presenter. I went to numerous sessions, learned a lot, and had a great time connecting with other evaluators. (I even found a little bit of time to explore Denver’s spectacular shopping scene). Below are...

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EYEO 2014 RECAP

by Sheila MatanoLast week, I attended the EYEO festival for the first time. EYEO is unique in that it brings together experts from a wide variety of fields (e.g. computer science, engineering, data design, cartography, etc.) to showcase their work.  There were a number of great presentations, and below are some of my favorites. Sarah Williams: DigitalMatatus, Visualizing InformalitySarah Williams is currently an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and the Director of the Civic Data Design Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and Planning. The Civic Data Design Lab employs data visualization and mapping techniques to expose and communicate urban patterns and policy issues to broader audiences. In her presentation, Sarah talked about how her team worked with Kenyan Universities and Nairobi’s growing technology sector to collect...

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It’s not another cat video but it’s just as cool – check out the new CRC Website

 The completely revamped Carson Research Consulting web site showcases the talents and experiences of the CRC team as well as the company’s expanded list of services. These offerings go beyond traditional research and evaluation services to include database wrangling and data visualization.   Services are managed and delivered by experienced data and technology nerds, researchers and evaluators. The group’s strong work ethic and resourceful detective skills allow them to collect, organize, analyze and report on the data their clients need to explore, explain and improve their programs. And the new web site showcases the backgrounds, skills and experiences of each team member, including the new chief wellness officer. “The web site,” says Taj Carson, CEO of CRC, “reflects our approachable and highly applicable way of doing evaluations and visualizing data. I am...

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Our Valentines: Why we love evaluation at CRC

compiled by Sheila MatanoEarlier this year, the American Evaluation Association released a statement describing what evaluation is and its value to evaluators and the public at-large. There are many different types of evaluation and the time it takes to complete an evaluation project can vary from a few weeks to several years. Amidst a flurry of projects, debacles, deadlines and what seems to be a long and arduous winter, the CRC team took some time this week to decompress and reflect on what we love about our work. As evaluators, we sometimes get bogged down by minutiae and forget the value of the work that we do! Taking a step back to reflect on our work and experiences encourages insight, learning, and fosters growth.So in honor of Valentine’s week, we want to share why we...

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Happy New Year! And AEA 2013 Recap, Part 2

compiled by Jill ScheiblerHappy New Year from all of us at CRC to our friends, evaluation colleagues, clients, and miscellaneous blog followers! If you're like us, the transition period spanning the end of one year and the beginning of the next is a very busy time masquerading as a relaxing one. But, even as we'd all like a bit more down time, the busyness of this transition time is a fertile one for reviewing lessons learned from the departing year and for setting goals for the new one...

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AEA 2013 Re-Cap, Part 1

compiled by Jill ScheiblerCRC was well represented at the 2013 American Evaluation Association conference, held close to home for us in Washington, DC! We learned a lot from this year’s sessions and had a great time connecting with old and new friends… But we didn’t just party there! (Although we did do just a bit of that with our fellow East Coast evalutors… see the evidence at the end of this post.)Most of our staff attended AEA 2013, and each has something to share about what she learned there. Together we have so much to share, actually, that we’ll be splitting our conference post-mortem into two parts. Stay tuned for part 2, coming next week! Dana Ansari, Research Assistant, attended a plenary presented by John Easton, entitled, “The Practice of Educational Evaluation Today: A Federal Perspective.” Her...

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