positive outcomes


The other major aspect of the project is describing and defining clear outcomes. I am a very qualitative-oriented person, and qualitative work is much more difficult to measure than quantitative. But it is often qualitative topics than can transform the most essential and significant parts of people’s lives. It is like public policy – which can be boring to most people and often invisible. But to me, policy is like the seismic shifts in a society that alter everything about the way individuals and groups interact with their community and their culture afterwards. Major policy changes can rapidly become unnoticeable as soon as people get used to a new way of doing and thinking about issues. But the effects are clearly there – and I think that qualitative-minded people have not spent enough time articulating the positive outcomes of these policies, processes and events. I had previously believed that the benefits are so obvious that it seems like it doesn’t need to be articulated – but I’ve begun to realize, qualitative-work may be my “language” and therefore clear to me, but to many others, they can’t see the connections. It is necessary to “translate” qualitative language and processes so that other people are able to make those connections, in the same way doctors need to translate their scientific jargon, or techies need to change their format into a style that someone like me can use easily and efficiently.

If people do benefit from the project, but do not realize they benefited, then in many ways the process becomes lost. They cannot see the connections between the cause and the effect, and may attribute the subtle positive outcomes to other factors, or it may even go unnoticed. How to articulate and measure the outcomes has therefore become a key focus of this project, and an issue I will be delving into in the weeks to come.

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