Administrative Skills - Writing using success stories aug 2011 nacaaPresentation Transcript
So you want to write a goodSuccess Story Sorrel Brown Program Evaluation ANR Extension August 9, 2011 NACAA
Who am I?
How is your program Making a Difference? Not what you do. The story to tell… What happens because of what you do.
This session will help you … Determine if a story is worth telling Recognize necessary elements Use words that describe outcomes Create programs leading to public value
The 3 Rs Relevance Response Results
What’s going to happen? Actions taken Learning Conditions changed
The 3 Rs … Plus Public Value How the public benefits How changed conditions make a larger difference
A good story shows why it’s worth telling Situation: Hog and dairy prices plummeted substantially in 2008 and 2009. The price rise of grain increased costs of production, especially for fertilizer and land. Relevance…. Response…. Results
From Situation to Results Because Extension conducted workshops on the Farm Financial Planning Program, farmers acquired the knowledge and skills to evaluate the impact of alternative farm plans on their farm business. Okay, but…
Better, but… Farmers are better able to evaluate the impact of alternative farm plans on their farm business using knowledge and skills gained through using the Extension Farm Financial Planning Program. Survey results show that …
Much stronger … Farmers who attended the X workshop are making better decisions regarding the risk of alternative farm plans by evaluating their impact on the farm business through the knowledge and skills gained from the Extension Farm Financial Planning Program. Survey results show that …
Parts of a Success Story Title creates curiosity Necessary elements Changes that occurred Relevance Results Public value (if likely)
Make the Title work for you Farm Financial Planning Program Better Economic Decisions with the Farm Financial Planning Program Increased Dairy Efficiency with the Farm Financial Planning Program
Show a Meaningful Change Measurable objectives Target audience Evaluation results
Active Verbs Signify change or comparison Measurable Increase … Strengthen … Adopt … Expand … Reduce … Decrease … Improve
Descriptive Verbs Ok for Outputs Conduct … Carry out … Establish … Present … Provide … Educate … Inform … Produce … Develop … Create … Design … Train Not for Outcomes
Outcome Example Developed a field reference that provides descriptions and images of the more common weeds in Iowa. What you did, not what changed or who benefited and how.
Outcome - Better Improved corn and sb producers’ ability to recognize common weeds in Iowa using a field reference that provides descriptions & images and can be easily carried into the field.
Outcome – Even Better Increased corn and sb producers’ profitability through better decisions for weed management. Participants in X program are now able to make economical decisions about weed control by recognizing common weeds in Iowa using a field reference that provides descriptions & images and can be easily carried into the field.
Broader Implications (Public Value) By making better decisions about investing in production inputs regarding common weeds using the Extension field guide, corn and sb producers in Iowa are more likely to limit their chemical applications to the environment.
So what? = Relevance Factor Priorities Needs Investment
Outcomes – Good, but… Survey results revealed that as a consequence of the education participants received at X Extension meetings, they took the following actions to increase their profitability:
One family now checks the market daily for pricing opportunities. So what? One producer had a basis contract on 45,000 bu of corn for the 1st time. So what? One producer noted a gap in both corn & sb and purchased a put option contract to take advantage of the opportunity for the 1st time. So what?
Master Gardeners across Iowa embraced the online hours reporting system. So what? Better, but not quite there… XMaster Gardeners surveyed in 2010 say they will use the new online reporting system to record hours so that … (what’s the real benefit?)
Much Better Summaries provided by the new Iowa State University Extension Master Gardeners’ online reporting system show [list benefits important to the public].
Using your Success Story State reports Federal reports Regional stakeholder reports Extension/College of Ag communications To create a collective impact story
Outcomes are what Count
Outcome Indicators for Condition Changes Cumulative across various activities within a program that lead to changes for a broader audience
NIFA Comments on ISUE 2010 Annual Report Actions taken to seek stakeholder input that encourages their participation Method used to identify groups and individuals Method used for collecting stakeholder input A statement of how collected input will be considered
NIFA Comments on ISUE 2010 Annual Report Significant effort went into documenting all the important activities that are supported by the funding. Represents the high quality of information generated, organized and communicated to a wide variety of interested people.
Public Value – Changed Conditions Can Extension claim credit?
Public Value when …
Narrows an information gap
One person’s participation benefits many
Generates engagement in public issues
The thread that links your program to a bigger picture
Broader outcomes because of Extension education Influences … Contributes ... Isa factor in ... Adds to … Plays a part in … Promotes …
Outcomes – Desired Change? Educated producer concerning the value of improving sow longevity in their herds. Used spreadsheet tools developed to show economic impact that improving sow longevity could have. Used educational posters/presentations to show producer how sow longevity can be improved through proper gilt selection.
Outcomes – Desired Change Increased profitability of X hog producers through their understanding and use of spreadsheet tools that calculate economic benefit of improving sow longevity through proper gilt selection.
Outcomes – Public Value? Animal welfare has improved to the point where sows now remain in the breeding herd longer. So what that sows remain in the breeding herd longer? Don’t assume the public knows anything about your discipline. Describe benefits from the public’s perspective.
Public Value Stories Evidence of program impact Testimony from individuals whose lives were improved by their ownparticipation Testimony from individuals who benefit from improved conditions that Extension programs helped generate Environmental Social Economic
Outcome Survey results (n=250) showed Internet links were used by 98% of participants, 74% shared what they learned, information was used to make decisions by almost all, increased profits/acre from this information was noted by most respondents, and Iowa acres impacted were in the tens of thousands. What’s the Public Value in this story?
Public Value Statements Extension’s program on X contributed to disseminating information about Y that impacted tens of thousands of Iowa acres. Information provided by Extension was used to make decisions by almost all participants and increased their profits per acre, thereby stimulating the local economy. Better farming decisions helps producers stay economically viable, resulting in a more vital rural community.
Results that affect Conditions – Example Iowa farmers increased production efficiencies to reduce negative environmental impact. Track specific production efficiencies in target audience over time to show a condition change for others.
Results that affect Conditions – Example Increased incomes for producers have a ripple effect on their local community. Using Integrated Pest Management recommendations by Extension reduces the impact of chemical products on the local environment.
Parts of a Success Story Title that catches attention Necessary elements Changes that occurred Relevance Results Public value (if possible)
How confident are you to … Determine if a story is worth telling? Recognize verbs that describe outcomes? Better understand how your programs create public value? Show program relevance to a public issue?