Researcher Uses Skills and Creativity to Promote Social Change

Researcher Uses Skills and Creativity to Promote Social Change

Ryan Evans is a research associate in the sociology field who analyzes the impact of nonprofit programs. He recently spoke with us about the amazing work he is doing to improve youth programming in his community. Evans studied sociology and theater while in college and always knew he wanted to become involved with social research. He has always been passionate about social justice and has completed several internships researching housing and homelessness in his city. Following graduation, Evans was hired as an assistant researcher at a large social research firm, where he was able to combine his passions for art and equality by working on projects for youth art programs.

Evans summarizes his job as “data consultation.” He first helps nonprofits identify the types of data they should collect, and then he works to design ways of collecting that data. Next, he analyzes this information and presents it back to the organization. This type of research is very important for nonprofits so they can measure their impact and inform funders to encourage continued financial support. While this is the essence of Evans’ job, his actual day-to-day tasks can vary greatly. As he explains, “I may spend the first half of my day developing a codebook to analyze qualitative data, and then spend the second half facilitating a two-hour discussion with older adults about their thoughts on exercising. It all really depends on what my projects need.” One of Evans’ favorite projects evaluated the impact of a creative community initiative led by the parks and recreation department of a local suburb. The program aimed to bring community members together through art events and youth art programs. Evans designed two ways to collect feedback about the impact of this initiative. The first was a “talking survey” that teachers gave to art students at the end of each program, allowing them to easily collect qualitative and quantitative data. The second was an interactive survey to gather data about participation in community art events. He designed the survey as an “event passport” where attendees collected stamps at different booths. This encouraged them to participate fully in the event while also giving him the ability to collect attendance information.

A common feature of Evans’ work is the emphasis on creative data collection. He specializes in interactive methods such as interviews or group discussions. Evans also works to ensure that the data collection methods fit in with the work being done by the nonprofit. This often leads him to develop methods that can serve a dual purpose, such as , enhancing participants’ experience while also collecting data. Although the phrase “data collection” often leads to only thoughts about numbers and graphs, Evans makes the process much more personal.

After learning about the features of Conseris, Evans felt it would be great for quantitative data collection and could be a useful tool in collecting qualitative data on his subjects. The customizable data entry fields would allow him to standardize observation notes and create checklists for effective observation. He also noted that more and more of the nonprofits he works with are looking for electronic ways to collect data. Conseris is a modern alternative to paper data collection because it safely backs up the collected information and can be used with or without wifi.

Evans’ career grants him a path to promote social change while uniting his passions for art and research. This unique field demands a lot of data collection and analysis, which Conseris makes easy with its customizable collection fields and eye-catching graphs.

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