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Using Program Theory & Program Logic for Improved Evaluation Practice

The workshop will provide participants with insight into theory based approaches to evaluation, and specifically into the role of Program Theory and Program Logic to provide a clear understanding, focus and direction to the practice of evaluation. The use of Program Theory and Program Logic will be clearly detailed within a staged conceptual model, with guidance provided on how they can be applied within the planning and implementation of an evaluation.

23rd October, 2017
Event City: 
Event State/Province: 
New South Wales
Event cost: 
Event type: 

Areas covered in the workshop include the use of Program Theory and Program Logic to:

  • Identify the expected cause and effect relationships within a program, and the critical assumptions which underpin whether anticipated change occurs.
  • Establish relationships between the more operational constructs of inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impacts as they apply to a program
  • Identify critical areas of focus for monitoring and evaluation including determining evaluation questions across different evaluation domains

The role of stakeholders in the development of the Program Theory and Program Logic and ways to promote their participation will be a point of emphasis. The workshop will consider how monitoring and evaluation activities can establish the validity of the Program Theory and Program Logic, and assist in making adjustments to these models as a program matures or understandings about its identity change. Constraints and limitations in the use of Program Theory and Program Logic will also be identified, together with common pitfalls in implementation and means to address these.

Teaching/Learning Strategies and Resources to be Used

The workshop will incorporate a mix of training methods including presentations, use of case studies, and small group interactive work. There will be ample opportunity for open discussion and questions.

The workshop’s worth

Theory based approaches to evaluation are increasingly recognised as having a core role in evaluation, and their use is seen as a means to resolve debates regarding choice of an appropriate evaluation methodology. In an Australian context, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act (2013) and subsequent guidance on performance management from the Department of Finance (2015) support the need for the development and use of logic models to identify clear connections and factors critical to achieving intended results. With a blend of conceptual material and practice, the workshop will position participants to make effective use of Program Theory and Program Logic. The workshop contents are closely related to the SAGE publication, Developing Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks (2016), of which Ian Patrick is joint author.

About the facilitator: Ian Patrick

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Dr. Ian Patrick is a self-employed consultant undertaking evaluation related roles in both Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. Ian has considerable experience as a trainer and has delivered workshops in areas such as Developing M&E Frameworks, Introduction to M&E, Advanced M&E, Impact Assessment, and Participatory Evaluation. This experience crosses Australia, New Zealand, United States, UK, Ireland and a range of developing countries. Ian was awarded the AES Best Evaluation Policy and System Award in 2012 for the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, Mongolia Australia Scholarship Program. He is an Honorary Senior Fellow with the School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne.