Dr. Dione Hills
I began my research career at the Department of Health and have been at the Tavistock Institute since 1986.
A driving force for me over this time has been about finding ways to ensure that research, evaluation and consultancy activities enhance individual and general wellbeing. In this century, there is the added urgency for us all to become more conscious of the environmental and political consequences of our individual and organisational choices.
For me, good evaluation means having good data (and analysis) to support reflection and learning. I build on 40 years of designing and delivering evaluations in many sectors, including community development, social care, health, transport and the environment, combining this with my experience of Tavistock consulting and group relations and my Tavistock qualification in Coaching for Leadership.
I have been part of the UK Evaluation Society Council and professional development activities for over 10 years and as a partner in CECAN. I contribute to exploring how knowledge of complex adaptive systems can contribute to the design and delivery of better evaluation strategies.
Developing evaluation capacity through training, coaching and consultancy is an important part of the Institute’s work, whether for programme designers, evaluators or commissioners, in large or small organisations, in public, third or private sectors. Recently, we have designed and delivered training to policymakers and analysts across central government and evaluation capacity building workshops and mentoring activities for British Council staff, across Africa and East Asia.
With CECAN colleagues, I have provided training and webinars on complexity in evaluation and led on the production of an annex to The Magenta Book (cross-government guidance on evaluation) on complex evaluation. Incorporating theory of change and system mapping in the planning and evaluation of policies, programmes and projects, is central to this work. Good evaluation also requires good personal skills and an understanding of organisational dynamics which we explored in our series of Dynamics of Evaluation workshops and webinars during the 2015 International Year of Evaluation.
On a somewhat different tack, I am currently exploring key components of ‘excellence’ in organisations for which a central aim is one of enhancing consciousness (whether religious, spiritual, or more general ‘mission-based’ and environmental organisations). This work draws on many years’ experience of meditation and of a variety of religious and spiritual organisations, but particularly on my recent experience as mentor and teacher of engaged spiritual practices via
My published work includes blogs for CECAN, a recent journal article on an evaluation of the Tavistock Leicester Conference (Group Relations), several sets of tailored evaluation guidance (e.g. ‘hints and tips on logic mapping’ and guidance on evaluating ‘public value’) and evaluation reviews (e.g. an overview of evaluation strategies for community health interventions).