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Scott Chaplowe's Fab Five Reboot


Scott's workshop is a great comparison between monitoring and evaluation – where they overlap and where they are similar. Scott also interacts with his attendees quite often when he presents. I wanted to make his slidedeck reflect those same dynamic elements. Scott already knew how to use animation to guide attention to certain parts of his slide, so I continued to build on that where possible.

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Scott’s main need is to reduce unnecessary text to make room for graphics. For text that can’t be removed, I used Arial Narrow, a version of his original Arial Black, which is still highly legible but more condensed. It leaves more empty space on the slide that adds a cleaner feel. I also unitalicized text on this slide (and removed underlines on other slides) to increase the readability of the text that remains.

I recommended to Scott that he include more real pictures of the program monitoring he has seen in his many travels for his work at the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies. Those real pictures will add a relatable feel, authoritative credibility, and memory support for his audience.


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In the meantime, I worked in the conversation bubble graphics. These seemed pertinent to Scott’s content because so much of it is about asking and answering the right questions to make an evaluation monitoring plan. The contrast between the two concepts on this slide also fits with the bubble idea.

I also swapped out Scott’s original color scheme for a more appealing red, which was pulled out of the diagram of the M&E and the Project Cycle slide. One must be careful when using red and green in their purest form because of issues with red/green colorblindness. In this case, the colors aren’t critical to conveying the information and could easily be swapped if needed.

This slide begins with just the title and then animation adds the monitoring bubble, then the evaluation bubble, and then the takeaway message at the bottom. Showing one bit at a time makes it easier to digest the content.


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I gradated the red color for the Results Hierarchy slide, so that the color change and the slow build of the slide via animation make the idea of a hierarchy more clear. With the removal of some unnecessary text on that slide, the explanatory material can be put into a larger font, too.


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When I told Scott I wanted to remake his slide on M&E and the Project Cycle, he let me know that there existed a somewhat better diagram but that he strongly preferred the use of animation to build each component of the diagram one at a time. Understandable. How can one get a single image file to become animated? Well, I used a lot of leg work but I cropped out each element of the better looking diagram and reassembled the individual pieces into a coherent whole. Then I added in the animation. Now, let me be clear that this was an enormous amount of work to get each piece cropped and I still see some things about it that I don’t like, where I could have done a better job. It will not always be worth the effort it took to make the diagram animated. It is probably only justified in cases like this, where it is an essential slide for the talk, a real centerpiece (and you don’t have access to the original file used to make the image).


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Finally, Scott’s slide on how to respond to M&E roadblocks is another great example of the conversational nature of Scott’s content. It was a great place to add back in the speech bubbles. I broke each conversation onto its own slide so the text could be bigger. No extra time added to Scott’s presentation, just more clicks to advance the slides. Scott noted that this would add extra pages if one was distributing slides as a handout. We agreed that something like Scott’s M&E Guide could actually make a more appropriate and useful handout than the slides.

This post is part of the Fab Five Reboot, a project led by Stephanie Evergreen to redesign five slides from five of AEA’s eStudy workshop presenters. Visit the eStudy workshop page to learn more about our current lineup and for registration details.

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