The Power of a Visual Narrative: A Collaboration with Innovation Network

Hi everyone! I’m really excited to share about a project I recently collaborated on with my old employer Innovation Network. We worked together to create a visual narrative of a really cool and interesting case study.

The visual narrative tells the story of how Parent Voices Oakland made important gains for early childhood education in Alameda County, California with support from Community Change. Parent Voices Oakland is a parent-led grassroots child care advocacy organization; they advocate for affordable, accessible, quality child care.

It’s a fascinating story that covers the challenges, tensions, and benefits for community organizations engaging for the first time or deeply in nonpartisan electoral work. Take a look at the full visual narrative below or download it here.

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Journey Mapping 101: Inspiring Dynamic Participation Through Visual Storytelling

Hi friends! I recently presented on USAID LEARN‘s experience using journey mapping as a visual storytelling tool at the American Evaluation Association’s Annual Conference in Minneapolis. Along with my amazing colleague, Jenny Lyons of Pivot Data Design, we shared two case studies of how journey mapping has been used in the evaluation field, our reflections about what worked well and what did not, and ideas and tips for future application. We are so thrilled to see so much energy for journey mapping in the evaluation field and are looking forward to continuing to explore and share about this topic. Until then, take a look at the slides we created for our presentation below. I hope you have a restful and rejuvenating holiday, everyone! I’m excited to see what 2020 will bring.

Journey Mapping Slides_ AEA 2019 Presentation


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Contribution, Leadership, Renewal: A Visual Recap of Evaluation 2019

Hi everyone! I recently attended the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This year’s theme was Paths to the Future of Evaluation: Contribution, Leadership, Renewal. In addition to presenting on visual note-taking and journey mapping as evaluations tools, I also attended a few interesting sessions. Take a look below to see my visual notes from the sessions I attended. Looking forward to next year!

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Visual Thinking 101: How to Use Hand-Drawn Visuals to Increase Clarity and Communication of Evaluation Concepts

Hi #Eval19 friends! I’ve just returned home from the American Evaluation Association Annual Conference in Minneapolis. In addition to defrosting, I am also reflecting a lot on my experience at AEA this year. So many of my favorite moments at the conference this year happened in the half-day professional development workshop I led on visual note-taking. I was really inspired by the amount of courage and appreciation in the room. I really liked how everyone had a growth mindset about the exercises and was appreciative of themselves and others. I came away from the experience feeling really uplifted and encouraged. I love training on visual note-taking and visual thinking in M&E! Take a look at the handbook and slides I created for the training (with some visuals pulled out below). Please feel free to get in touch with me if you are interested in pursuing 1-1 visual note-taking coaching or training on visual note-taking for your team or organization.  Thanks everyone! Have a wonderful week.

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Journey Mapping 101: Inspiring Dynamic Participation Through Visual Storytelling

Hi everyone!

Greetings from snowy and cozy Minneapolis! I’m excited to share that I’m co-leading a session at the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Annual Conference this week with Jenny Lyons of Pivot Data Design about how we’ve used journey mapping in our evaluation work. I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to share about our experiences with this cool, collaborative data collection and reflection tool and to hear from others about what they have learned in using it. Take a look at the handout Jenny and I created about journey mapping. Feel free to use the handout to start the conversation about using journey mapping in your evaluation work. Looking forward to seeing many of you in Minneapolis!



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Re-Imagining Visual Journalism: Illustrations of Malofiej 2019

Hi friends! I spent this past week in Pamplona, Spain at Malofiej 2019, an annual gathering of illustrators, journalists, and data scientists. I’m leaving the conference feeling inspired by all of the incredibly kind and incredibly talented people I met. Some of my overarching take-aways include: 1) start with your curiosities and develop the skills needed to answer them, not the other way around 2) the communication of a single message is more important than precision and 3) the more sensory, the more memorable. I’m inspired to engage more senses in my illustration and data visualization work. Take a look at the visual summaries I created of the conference below. 


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Bottom-Up Peace: Everyday Peace Indicators Project

Hi everyone! I hope you are all doing well. I wanted to take a moment to share something I created in collaboration with The Everyday Peace Indicators Project (EPI). EPI creates everyday indicators of difficult-to-measure concepts such as peace, reconciliation, governance and violent extremism. The project is a cooperative, bottom-up endeavor. It takes, as a starting point, the belief that local communities are best placed to conduct research on their own communities because they understand their context best. The project operates via local NGOs; it sources the indicators from the communities themselves, and helps communities identify priorities, common goals, and learn from research findings about the indicators they identified.  Take a look at the visuals and animation (my first ever!) below that I created to describe this approach to measuring difficult-to-measure concepts. As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback. Thank you!

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Strategic Design: Parsons New School Gathering of Thinkers & Doers

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a nice Mother’s Day weekend! Over the weekend, I was invited to participate in a Strategic Design Conference organized by Parsons School of Design at The New School in New York City. The theme of the conference was, “Convergence x Design: Strange Proximities and Unexpected Conversations” and it was exactly that: people from different sectors, backgrounds, and perspectives coming together to brainstorm ideas about how design can inform, influence, and empower. The conference was inspired by the radical, political, and social changes happening around the world and the role that designers can play as positive change agents. I’m humbled to have been able to participate. Take a look at the visual notes I captured of the conversations below!

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And one important highlight:


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Learning Into Action: Visual Capture of AEA2017

Hi friends! Two weeks ago, I attended the American Evaluation Association’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC. I had the pleasure of working with Michael Quinn Patton in his session on Principles-Focused Developmental Evaluation and attending a few other stellar sessions. It was so great to see so many of you there and catch up on all of the cool and interesting evaluation work you are all doing! The visuals that I created during the conference are below. Happy reading!



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Visualize it: Michael Quinn Patton’s Principles for Facilitating Evaluation

As evaluators, we know that learning from evaluation occurs when the process is rooted in partnership and is accommodating to different learning styles. That’s why Michael Quinn Patton (Founder and CEO of Utilization-Focused Evaluation) and I collaborated to share key findings from Michael’s recently published book, Facilitating Evaluation, in a creative and engaging way. In his book, Michael outlines five principles for facilitating evaluation:

  1. Be guided by the personal factor
  2. Engage through options
  3. Observe, interpret, adapt
  4. Embed evaluative thinking throughout
  5. Facilitate to the leading edge
  • For auditory learners, tune into this MQPodcast which includes a conversation between Michael and me about Michael’s reflections on the book.
  • For tactile learners, take a look at some of the experiential learning techniques Michael describes in his book (some of which are included in the visuals below).
  • For visual learners, take a look at the visuals I created that detail the five principles of facilitating evaluation that Michael outlines in his book below:







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