I was pondering the other day, whilst lost in the riveting world of data, narratives, and spreadsheets, contemplating why we evaluators may not quite fit the bill for the “dazzling” realm of politics. You know, that magical place where decisions are made with the flick of a wand, and, the more pizzazz you bring, the better. Because, of course, in the grand theater of politics, who needs thoughtful analysis, research, reflection, deep thought, and empathy when you can dazzle with the sheer brilliance of your… (cough) “charisma” (cue eye roll and jazz hands)?
So, here’s a whimsical exploration of why we, the data enthusiasts might just be the odd ducks in the glittering pond of political charm. Buckle up for a ride through pie charts, bar graphs, and political theatrics!
We Overthink Everything: Politicians need quick decisions, but we’re busy (over) analyzing and interpreting (hey, that’s triangulating) every detail. By the time we make up our minds, the debate has moved on, and we’re left in the dust, still pondering the intricacies of policy nuances.
Data-Informed to a Fault: While data is great, we tend to get lost in it. Picture us in a heated debate, responding with statistical and narrative analyses supported by literature and evidence-based practices while everyone else is expecting a punchy one-liner. It’s like bringing a spreadsheet to a meme fight.
Caring Too Much: We genuinely care about people and society, which is fantastic for evaluation. However, in the world of politics, this can lead to sleepless nights over policy decisions and tearful speeches about the critical importance of community gardens and public libraries.
Thoughtful Consideration: Program evaluators are trained to analyze and consider all angles. In politics, this can sometimes translate into hesitation or indecision, as every potential consequence is carefully weighed and numbered.
Data-Informed Decision-Making: While data is crucial, politics requires a blend of emotion and pragmatism. Relying solely on data might make us appear detached, and too objective, especially when dealing with issues that require a more nuanced approach and engagement.
Effective Communication: Program evaluators may prioritize precise language over charismatic speeches/rhetoric. In politics, effective communication often involves oversimplifying complex issues for a broader audience, something we might struggle with due to our commitment to reliability and accuracy.
Balancing Idealism and Realism: Our deep concern for societal well-being can clash with political decision-making/ vote gathering. Striking the right balance between idealistic goals and aggressive strategies and rhetoric are perpetual challenge.
We think, therefore, we are! [evaluators and not politicians]
(I am sure Rene Descartes is none too pleased at the moment.) 😇
PC: Dall. E