Amanda Babine, Wheelock College BSW alumna, is currently the Director of Evaluate for Change, a company that trains organizations to build the capacity of the social sector from within, using data and evaluation. Her recent article, “Building a Culture of Evaluation: How to empower the social sector to put data to good use” in Stanford University’s Markets for Good publication highlights her work and the importance of her organization’s mission.
The clientele at Evaluate for Change often recall their statistic courses as being “boring”, “dreadful” and “difficult.” While Amanda didn’t take any statistic courses at Wheelock, she wished that she had had the opportunity. Even as an undergraduate at Wheelock College, Amanda knew what a major role research and measurement would have in her professional career. Through economics and public policy courses, Amanda learned about measurement and the importance of making sure that programs for children and families are effective. Particularly, she became interested in the macro aspects of research and then was able to turn her focus to individual organizations.
Amanda advises current and incoming Wheelock social work students to really ask questions about the programs and social services that they are involved with, and to always think about the impact that the programs are actually making. Sometimes programs aren’t effectively measuring this impact, and that’s where Amanda encourages students to become an advocate. She stresses the importance of using data and tracking outcomes, claiming that it won’t only benefit the programs but also the students. By relying on measurements, students will become analytical thinkers and will realize that no program is perfect–there is always room to improve.
Read Amanda’s recent article here: https://marketsforgood.org/building-a-culture-of-evaluation-how-to-empower-the-social-sector-to-put-data-to-good-use/