For evaluation to be truly useful it needs to be embedded in organisational processes, especially those involving strategic changes to the way government and non-government organisations plan, manage and implement.
The Australasian Evaluation Society (AES)
The AES has had a close connection with different government agencies engaged in strengthening evaluation capacity. Early AES conferences were sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Finance which played a leading role in supporting better management of evaluation within the Australian public sector. The first AES conference held in New Zealand had high levels of sponsorship from central agencies and line Departments in recognition of the importance they placed on evaluation. At different times, State governments have also played a major role in conferences that were held in their capital, promoting their approach to evaluation systems and management and supporting keynote speakers and workshops.
These connections have resulted in formal AES engagement in public or organisational processes related to evaluation such as, most recently: a joint submission with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) on the Enhanced Commonwealth Performance Reporting Framework (ECPF) (Oct 2014); the establishment of a Government Engagement Working Group (GEWG) which lodged a submission –together with the Department of Finance (DoF)– on the draft Resource Management Guides for the ECPF (Jan 2015) and, subsequently, a submission to the Australian Parliament Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit on the Inquiry into Development of Commonwealth Performance Framework (April 2015). In addition, significant joint events with the DoF were held, for example: Strengthening Performance Measurement Across the Commonwealth: International Perspectives on Evaluation which was attended by nearly 300 people representing 76 Commonwealth entities and companies and 18 external organisations (Sept 2015); a series of workshops for those engaged in performance measurement and reporting on Performance Story Reports (2016, 2017). In 2016, the AES also established the Advocacy and Alliance Committee aiming to promote the use of evaluation and evaluative thinking by Australasian agencies and organisations but also advising on advocacy and alliances opportunities to strengthen the reputation of the AES nationally and internationally.
The Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA):
In 2007, ANZEA collaborated with SPEaR (Social Policy Evaluation and Research) to develop SPEaR Best Practice Guidelines Māori – Research and Evaluation.
Advice for USING this option
Evaluation associations and societies may consider identifying opportunities for engagement in relevant organisational and public processes and support an ongoing capacity for such engagement (for example, formulating targeted working groups or Task Forces to focus on areas such as government engagement and advocacy).
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Peersman, G. and Rogers, P. (2017). Pathways to advance professionalisation within the context of the Australasian Evaluation Society. Melbourne: ANZSOG/BetterEvaluation. Retrieved from: https://www.betterevaluation.org/en/resources/pathways-advance-professio...