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What I did on my summer vacation

by Jill Scheibler [caption id="attachment_1451" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Hint: It involved both literal and metaphorical roller coasters.[/caption]Today— with suntans fading and schools back in full swing— it's a few days into fall and I can definitely feel it! It's gloomy outside and I'd like nothing more than to revisit my summer vacation.In my role at CRC I wear a number of different “evaluation hats”, and otherwise keep busy throughout the year teaching courses at a local university and directing a small arts nonprofit called Make Studio. When summer rolls around I am very eager to escape my not-quite-9-definitely-later-than-5 schedule for some fresh air and sunshine. Yet I don’t necessarily want to shut off my brain or escape the things that excite me about my work.So, this year I went to summer camp...

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The Cryptic Problem of Encryption

by Sarah McCrudenSo you’ve compiled some raw data for your next big report, or, you’ve come across a few clients’ records that have errors that need to be addressed. If you need to share these tasks with a coworker, email is often the most convenient method for sharing: just attach and send! Sounds simple. But, have you ever wondered just how the email makes its way to the recipient—and whether it’s really safe on its journey there?According to Leo Notenboom, a personal computer and software industry expert, concerns about email interception may be exaggerated: “It is possible to sniff and eavesdrop on email conversations. It's also not particularly easy, unless you're on an open WiFi connection.” Yet, he goes on to say that, “by default, the contents of email is...

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Participatory Analysis

A report released by Public /Private Ventures in March 2011 titled "Priorities for a New Decade: Making (More) Social Programs Work (Better)," discussed a critical problem with the evaluation process for non-profit programs:Often times, evaluators do not collaborate with a program and therefore programs are passively evaluated. In addition, funders may not ask for the right evidence and an often impractical report is usually produced months later. This gives the non-profit no voice in the evaluation process and no time to make adjustments or improvements in their program.The authors recommended that evaluators collaborate with the program staff (i.e. the stakeholders) in the evaluation design, and that the stakeholders are provided real-time, actionable feedback that allows the program to improve its effectiveness. They believe that evaluators need to help non-profits better...

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