In May, the Pacific AIDS Network (PAN) launched a new way to explore research and evaluation in what we are affectionately calling the Treehouse, where we will provide research and evaluation inspiration and capacity-building products for you and your team. PAN is a REACH regional lead in BC and you can learn more about PAN’s work in research and evaluation on the PAN site, and more about some of our research and evaluation projects on the REACH Nexus site.
Where research and evaluation grow together
PAN’s team actively works on both research studies and evaluation projects and we have spent a lot of time learning across these fields. While planning this work our team felt our experiences could be illustrated by two trees—a research tree and an evaluation tree—with separate roots but growing together, intertwined and connected.
As these fields of work have evolved over time we feel there are increasing similarities, shared methods and approaches between them. Others have thought about this too, including John LaVelle who developed an hourglass image of the similarities and differences between research and evaluation.
Building the Treehouse in this shared space
Building on the tree metaphor, the Treehouse sits on the limbs between both the Research and the Evaluation Tree and provides a space for us to come together to learn and build our capacity in both of these areas (and dare we say, have a bit of fun).
The inspiration for the Treehouse came from our Board of Directors who asked our team to think about how we could more actively support BC’s community-based organizations in engaging with and doing research and evaluation. So our team set to work to:
- make learning fun and engaging;
- increase the reach of PAN’s already existing online resources; and
- gather, share and amplify new resources or tools from colleagues, allies and other people doing similar work both in BC and across Canada.
What’s ahead for the Treehouse
The Treehouse will release a new edition every six months, with brand new resources, tools and capacity-building opportunities related to research and evaluation—all brought to you in fun and engaging ways. You can think of it as a landing pad for resources, as well as a place to build creativity and innovation!
Please check out the May launch of the Treehouse on the PAN website to learn more and check out the resources! We gratefully acknowledge the support of REACH.
We know that REACH partners and allies have been doing a lot of work in these areas too, through the work of regional, national, and project-based teams. We would love to hear about your work! We would also like to hear from you if you want to co-develop a Treehouse item with us or if you have research or evaluation questions you have always been curious about that would make an interesting Treehouse piece. Please feel to touch base with Janice Duddy, Director of Research and Evaluation at firstname.lastname@example.org.