This blog is an abridged version of the brief Innovations in evaluation: How to choose, develop and support them, written by Patricia Rogers and Alice Macfarlan. It builds on a webinar delivered by Patricia Rogers in May 2018 as a joint project of UNICEF, BetterEvaluation and EVALSDGs. This blog opens up some of the issues and questions about why and how to adopt innovations in evaluation, while the brief goes into further detail about innovations that can be useful in addressing long standing challenges in evaluation.
Patricia Rogers's blog
This is the second of a two-part blog on strategies to support the use of evaluation, building on a session the BetterEvaluation team facilitated at the American Evaluation Association conference last year. While the session focused particularly on strategies to use after an evaluation report has been produced, it is important to address use before and during an evaluation.
What can be done to support the use of evaluation? How can evaluators, evaluation managers and others involved in or affected by evaluations support the constructive use of findings and evaluation processes?
The 2017 American Evaluation Association conference, with the theme 'Learning to Action' is coming soon - the conference runs from November 8-11. Here are some ways you can be part of it, whether you can make it in person or not.
In our recent blog post about using theories of change and logic models better in evaluation, we asked BetterEvaluation members to submit a question or challenge that they have in relation to creating or using theory of change for review by the BetterEvaluation team.
Many evaluations include a process of developing logic models and theories of change – an explanation of how the activities of a program, project, policy, network or event are expected to contribute to particular results in the short-term and longer-term. They have been used for many years - versions can be seen in Carol Weiss’ 1972 book "Evaluation research: methods for assessing program effectiveness" - and they have been mainstreamed in many organisations
Adaptive management is usually understood to refer to an iterative process of reviewing and making changes to programmes and projects throughout implementation. Commonly associated with environment and resource management, it's becoming more common in other areas of program management and development. Over the next few weeks, we'll be focusing on the increasing interest in how monitoring and evaluation can support adaptive management.
All too often conferences fail to make good use of the experience and knowledge of people attending, with most time spent presenting prepared material that could be better delivered other ways, and not enough time spent on discussions and active learning. With closing dates for two evaluation conferences fast approaching (the Australasian Evaluation Society and the American Evaluation Association), could you propose something more useful, that would demonstrate how much we know and care about communicating and using information?
As with any field of endeavour, evaluation practice needs to be informed by, and contribute to, theory and research. However it can be difficult to find sources of funding and support for research into evaluation.
Here are two current funding opportunities to support research on evaluation, and some links to other resources and examples of research on evaluation.
Do you have suggestions about others we should add?
We've been getting some great questions recently - so we're starting to share our answers through these blogs. We'd welcome any additional suggestions for how to respond, or useful resources. Just add these to the comments box below.
I’m wanting to do an impact evaluation. What kinds of theories should I use for developing a theory of change?