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Tuesday, September 5 • 11:00 - 11:30
Better by design: A framework for bridging design and evaluation

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Matt Healey (First Person Consulting)

Design thinking, human centred design and co-design (‘design’) have all gained traction in the last several years across a variety of fields and disciplines, most recently in public policy. Much like sustainability in the later parts of the 20th century, these approaches to design are set to become one of the dominant paradigms in policy in the 21st century, as it brings the promise and means by which governments and other stakeholders can tackle the complexity that continues to define our world.

In addition to providing a process for addressing complexity, these design approaches bring with them an approach that is based on human-centeredness – the end user needs to be engaged and considered throughout the process to produce something that is best tailored for those users needs. It is this mindset that lends itself to addressing many of the issues that government are typically expected to address – homelessness, social services, even taxes!

However, with the popularity of design increasing, there is a need for clarity over what these design approaches are and what they mean for evaluators. Going forward there will be a need and even an expectation for evaluators to possess the understanding, skills and mindsets of these design approaches.

This session will present a conceptual framework for thinking how these design approaches and evaluation can be better linked from the outset and – in particularly – how one can strengthen the other across the program and policy cycles. The session will do this through three different lenses: designing programs and services, designing monitoring and evaluation systems and as the deliverer of evaluations (internal or external).

Attendees will be provided with a copy of the framework. This session has been developed as part of the AES Design & Evaluation Special Interest Groups suite of activities.


Cheryl Durrant

Director, Defence

avatar for Matt Healey

Matt Healey

Consultant, First Person Consulting
Matt is a social research and evaluation Consultant and Co-Founder of First Person Consulting (FPC). Matt has worked on social research and evaluation projects across sustainability and climate change, public health and health promotion, emergency management, renewable energy, waste management and innovation. | | Matt is recognised as an energetic and adaptable Consultant who always looks to add value to the products and services he products. Some of Matt's other interests different approaches to design, particularly the role of evaluation, as well as how these approaches can be applied to different areas of his work.​ | | Matt is also the Secretary of the Australasian Evaluation Society (AES) Special Interest Group (SIG) on Design and Evaluation. The SIG recognises the links between design and evaluation and the importance of these fields complementing each other... Read More →