Knowledge Value Chain© Approach to Evaluation Utilization
The Knowledge Value Chain©, by Timothy W. Powell can be an effective approach toward building a culture of using evaluations. I decided to introduce the Knowledge Value Chain© in a pre-conference workshop, Utilization of Evaluations, offered as part of Uganda Evaluation Week 2015 because it provides such a useful structure for acquiring and applying knowledge gained from evaluations. Participants in the workshop embraced the model and were interested in continuing to learn about how to use it even more effectively.
The Knowledge Value Chain© pushes us to think about what we can do as individuals in our organizations to realize value in evaluation findings. It drives us to identify:
- How our roles contribute to an organization’s value
- Who we hand information to and effective ways to transmit that information
- Constraints in moving data and findings along the value chain
This is important because data, findings, and recommendations need to move along the chain toward decisions and action so that we can benefit from the full value of our evaluations. In the Utilization of Evaluations workshop, participants carried out a series of small group exercises designed to explore the three points outlined above. We started with an exploration of the characteristics shared by organizations with strong cultures of using evaluations. In small groups, participants identified where their roles in their respective agencies, offices, or organizations contribute to the Knowledge Value Chain©. From there, participants looked at where they hand off information, knowledge, or findings to other stakeholders, how to effectively communicate findings visually, and where there is a divergence in actionable use of evaluations as certain roles move up the Knowledge Value Chain©. The next step in the exercise was to identify the constraints to further move evaluation findings up the value chain, and propose ways of overcoming those constraints in order to continue to improve on the culture of evaluation use. Small group work resulted in a poster session where participants could share ideas and comment on shared learning.
There is strong interest and enthusiasm for continuing in this direction among Ugandan evaluators, and I think we can expect to see fruitful and creative applications of this approach coming from members of the Uganda Evaluation Association and others.