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How Do YOU know that Scouting is effective?

We are the Boy Scouts, of course everyone knows how important we are to the community, right?  Maybe not. Our friends at the Otto Bremer FoundationExternal Link shared the resource below with me recently. As we work at all levels of Scouting to articulate our role in our communities I hope that you would review the 'flash cards' presented by Michael Quinn Patton. Many of these are relevant whether you are evaluating the effectiveness of a den meeting, a district camp or activity, or Scouting as a whole.



A new evaluation resource for community organizations and funders

A new Foundation publication—Evaluation Flash Cards: Embedding Evaluative Thinking in Organizational CultureExternal Link—introduces and illustrates core evaluation concepts that can help organizations understand and improve the results of the programs they support.

Written by evaluation expert Michael Quinn Patton, the 25 “flash cards” help organizational leaders:

  • Understand what constitutes a good evaluation and appreciate the purposes and strengths of different types of evaluation
  • Create clear, ‘SMART’ program goals and meaningful performance targets
  • Understand what claims of effectiveness are worth paying attention to
  • Distinguish opinions and hypotheses from high-quality lessons that constitute actionable knowledge
The evaluation flash cards grew out of a series of learning seminars conducted by Patton for Foundation trustees and staff. We are using the insights and materials in our own work and hope they are useful for others. 


Citation reference: Patton, Michael Quinn (2014). 
Evaluation Flash Cards: Embedding Evaluative 
Thinking in Organizational Culture. St. Paul, MN: 
Otto Bremer Foundation, 

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