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Forming Curious Questions: Part 1

Madison Cutler | Minnesota SART Program Coordinator at SVJI @MNCASA

This blog series, will explore how to form curious questions that will help teams obtain information during their evaluation and assessment. If you haven’t already, check out this blog series on assessment (Part 1Part 2, and Part 3).

The Audience. 

One of the most important parts of a team’s evaluation and assessment project is figuring out to whom they are asking the questions. We have a list of different questions to ask, depending on the audience, here. Still, we thought we better talk a little bit more about why it’s important to know your audience before forming your curious questions.

The Lingo. Many of us who work professionally in the anti-violence movement know the definition of words like “trauma-informed,” but a community member or victim/survivor might not. It’s important that the language we use is not only appropriate for your audience, but also accessible. Try keeping the reading level at grade nine or below.

The Point-of-View. When asking questions to a broad audience, it’s important to understand the position from which they are approaching the question. For example, suppose your team is trying to get feedback on the updated protocol from service providers and victims/survivors using the same questions. In that case, chances are you will get very different answers. Instead, ask specific questions from the audience’s perspective. See last week’s post for examples.

We’ll continue this topic next week. Until then, email us at svji@mncasa.org if you have any questions!