52 Weeks of BetterEvaluation: Week 39: Professional Development Opportunities

Julia Laidlaw

If you are looking to learn more and hone your skills in evaluation there has never been a better time to tap into any number of fantastic free or low cost professional development opportunities.

While many are presented face-to face at conference workshops and training sessions, you can often access classes online after the event if you miss the live workshop/webinar.

This week we want to bring to your attention a few of the face-to face workshops, webinars and online courses BetterEvaluation and its partners have to offer. First up, let’s look at some of the free, on-line professional development opportunities out there!

Free, online professional development

BetterEvaluation webinars

BetterEvaluation offers eight free training webinars developed as a part of the AEA Coffee Break Webinar Series. This series of webinars, conducted by leading practitioners Irene Guijt, Simon Hearn, Kerry Bruce, Jane Davidson and Patricia Rogers give a comprehensive overview of the BetterEvaluation Rainbow Framework for evaluation. Each webinar focuses on a different step: how to Define, Frame, Describe, Understand, Synthesize Data, Report and Manage an Evaluation.

View the webinar recordings and download materials here.

EvalPartners E-learning programme on Development Evaluation

Produced by UNICEF, Claremont Graduate University and IOCE, under the EvalPartners initiative, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation and in partnership with UN Women,the programme includes on-line lectures, reading material and tests. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in an on-line forum, and on successful completion of the e-learning course will be able to print out a certificate of virtual attendance. There are three courses:

The instructors are world-level specialists including international experts,senior representatives of the international community,senior managers responsible for country-led M&E systems,and leaders from the Global South and BRIC countries. The material is mostly in English, with some e-learning courses available in ArabicSpanish and Russian.

MEASURE online course

MEASURE Evaluation makes free online courses on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) topics available for researchers, program managers, trainers, policy makers, students, and other public health professionals. These courses have been developed by global experts in order to provide state-of-the-art information on M&E topics.


Coursera is an online education facilitator that works with universities and organisations from around the world to offer a wide range of free courses. Learning is interactive and all lectures are given by university professors. Here are a few you might be interested in:

  • Social network analysis (Course no longer available)
  • Model thinking
  • Computing for data analysis (Course no longer available)
  • Game Theory

AEA YouTube channel

AEA's YouTube channel has a variety of training material.

Low-cost workshops

American Evaluation Association (AEA)

AEA Evaluation 2013 Conference had a huge list of preconference workshops on offer (60 to be exact!). (PAST EVENTS)

The conference was held in Washington DC on October 16-19, 2013.  The workshops were taught by expert facilitator(s) and were attended separately before or after the conference.  Here are a few example of workshops (NO AVAILABLE - 2023):

  • Fundamentals of Survey Sampling for Evaluators with Michael Cohen
  • Empowerment Evaluation with David M Fetterman
  • Transformative Mixed Methods Evaluations with Donna M Mertens and Katrina L Bledsoe
  • Systems Thinking for Evaluators: An Experiential Day Camp with Janice Noga and Mary McEathron
  • Beyond the Basics of Program Design: A Theory-Driven Approach with John A Gargani  and Stewart Donaldson
  • Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Health and Human Services Program with Edward Broughton 

Quebec Evaluation Association​

Quebec Evaluation Association also offers some short training sessions via their website that are taking place in Quebec. Examples of past events include:

  • L’ÉVALUATION DES POLITIQUES PUBLIQUES : LA COMPLEXITÉ DU PROBLÈME ET LA SIMPLICITÉ DES SOLUTIONS. Evaluating Public Policy: The complexity of the problem and simple solutions.
  • L’IMPORTANCE DES ÉTUDES D'ÉVALUABILITÉ : LA GESTION DES ATTENTES ET DE l'IMPRÉVISIBLE The importance of evaluation education: Management and Expecting the unpredictable 


Find more events

BetterEvaluation events page

Don't forget to regularly check out our events page for upcoming evaluation conferences, workshops, webinars and courses from around the world. If we are missing any you can suggest an event here.

Image credit: Design thinking: Testing and feedback phase, by John.Nash on Flickr