Laureen Trainer’s Why Evaluate Cartoons

Not only did my why evaluate series result in a string of comments, I also received a few cartoon contributions.  Today’s post features three cartoons courtesy of Laureen Trainer.

I asked Laureen to give a little context, here’s what she wrote:

I’m always trying to think of reasons why organizations should evaluate as I work a lot with small museums and libraries who have never done, or have only begun to venture into the world of evaluation. There tends to be one champion who is trying to initiate an evaluation mindset in the institution and they often look to me to begin to quantify and “sell” the benefits of evaluation to their colleagues.  So, I love any lists or sources that help explain the “why of evaluation” in succinct, top-ten ways. Because of that your cartoon series definitely caught me eye and started my mind wandering in a visual direction, plus I thought it would be fun to stress my creativity a bit with a cartoon.

I thought you had already illustrated a lot of the reason that I usually use to help explain the purpose and/or goal of evaluation, but I found myself returning to your call to action. I have to admit that I thought of these two while sitting in a meeting, where I started doodling as I was listening to the presenter. As many institutions come to evaluation because of funding and reporting requirement, Jerry McGuire immediately popped into my mind, which is where the idea for the “show my the money!” cartoon came from. The other cartoon started with the image of chaos in the background and the concept of unintended outcomes. In this case, I don’t think most people could equate this scene with success, but it does get at the need to define your outcomes in order to measure them and understand your levels of success and failures, which leads to better programs and smarter, more efficient institutions.

And a bonus, Laureen added a logic model cartoon too.



  1. Laureen Trainer on June 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    Chris, it seems to me that this series and the comments and ideas you received need to live on, perhaps as a PDF or booklet that people can download and share when asked – “why should I evaluate?” It has a lot of great ideas and reasons and the cartoons make it accessible to a lot of different audiences.

    • Chris Lysy on June 7, 2014 at 8:51 am

      You can expect it 🙂

      Currently in the works.