Making it stick 1

Workshop: Making it stick 1 – Crafting an evaluation report for impact and use

Date and time: Thursday 16th February and Thursday 23rd February 2023, 9.30am to 1.00pm AEDT (registration from 9.15am). Registrants are to attend both sessions. (full day workshop - 2 sessions)

Venue: Via Zoom. Details will be emailed to registrants just prior to the workshop start time

Facilitator: Dr. Samantha Abbato

Register online by: 15 February 2023. Spaces limited to 25 participants

Fees (GST inclusive): Members $260, Organisational member staff $375, Non-members $425, Student member $125, Student non-member $210*
 * Students must send proof of their full-time student status to 


Workshop Overview

Communicating evaluation through effective reporting is critical to the field of evaluation and those who commission, plan and do evaluation. In the context of continued substantial underuse and misuse and increasing “over-use” of evaluation findings (Patton 2015), effective reporting is now more critical than ever. The purpose of this workshop is to provide participants with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need for effective evaluation reporting and communication. Simple-to-use, effective, and innovative reporting techniques from various disciplines will be introduced. Throughout the workshop, participants can apply the learned knowledge to real-life examples in small groups. Participants will be provided with fillable templates and checklists they can use to apply the new skills and tools to their own work.

The facilitator has considerable experience in crafting evaluation reports across several sectors and in utilisation-focused strategies. Sam has facilitated the popular face-to-face version of this workshop several times at AES conferences, AES regional events, and internationally since 2017. The content of the workshop and focus on report improvement lends itself to online delivery, offering participants multiple opportunities to directly apply new skills and techniques to their own work between the Zoom sessions and to share reflections with other participants. This workshop has been successfully delivered online for AES several times since 2020.

Workshop Content

Participants will learn how to maximise report reach, engagement, and use through applying strategies and using tools based on current communication principles and theory. Making it Stick 1 will introduce innovative multidisciplinary concepts, techniques, and tools from psychology, business, marketing, graphic and visual communication. Four main areas will be covered.

1. Communication principles:  Basic principles and models, communications planning, tailoring to stakeholders with tools such as Stakeholder prioritisation listing and Key message template to focus reporting and decrease report clutter.

2. Making the report stick: Communicability and the rule of three, increasing focus by reducing clutter, formulating feasible and actionable recommendations, story for memorability, and readability.

3. Report content and structure: Recognition of essential and optional contents, what to look for when designing and assessing reports, and thinking outside the traditional evaluation report.

4. Getting the report noticed: Basic design principles and their practical application, catering to diverse stakeholders using effective and personalised design.

The workshop will be interactive and involve sharing experiences and hands-on activities. Case studies from the presenter's experience in the areas of health, communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and culturally and linguistically diverse settings will be discussed. Participants will be provided opportunities to apply new skills to their own work. Participants are invited to bring examples of completed or in-progress evaluation reports to discuss.

Workshop Outcomes

Workshop learning outcomes include:

  • The ability to communicate evaluation findings effectively to a range of stakeholders;
  • Knowledge of how to communicate the key components of the evaluation through effective report structure;
  • The ability to apply strategies to separate essential information from “nice to know”;
  • The ability to produce a report that is “sticky” and memorable;
  • Skills in getting reports noticed using design principles and a checklist.

PL competencies

This workshop aligns with competencies in the AES Evaluator’s Professional Learning Competency Framework. The identified domains are

  • Domain 1 – Evaluative attitude and professional practice;
  • Domain 3 – Culture, stakeholders and context;
  • Domain 5 – Project management;
  • Domain 6 – Interpersonal skills.

Who should attend?

This workshop is designed for professionals who commission, write or use evaluation reports. Beginners and those new to evaluation will also benefit those at an Intermediate level.

Workshop start times

About the facilitator

Dr. Samantha Abbato has completed more than 100 evaluation and research reports and papers for various government, non-government organisations and community stakeholders.  She has published numerous book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles and has worked as a freelance journalist for several years. She received the 2015 AES Evaluation Publication Award (Caulley Tulloch Award).

With a passion for communication and maximising evaluation use, and an extensive understanding of the evaluation commissioner perspective through her work on Visual Insights organisational capacity building, Dr. Samantha Abbato can offer a wealth of case studies of the good, the bad and the ugly of evaluation reporting.


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