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AES Seminar: Understanding evaluation reports and applying the findings to policy and practice (Brisbane)

The power of evaluation is its ability to provide meaningful information for use in decisions about programs and policies. This power is diminished by both the lack of use and misuse of evaluation. Based on a survey conducted by the American Evaluation Association in 2006 it is estimated that fewer than one-third of evaluation results are used. A more serious problem however is the use of misevaluation - evaluation with flawed methodology, faulty sampling, data collection, analysis and reporting.

22nd April, 2015
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An important contributor to lack of use or misuse of evaluation is the intended user not being able to understand the evaluation report. This seminar goes beyond the fear of technical evaluation and research jargon to provide key strategies for how to approach and demystify evaluation reports and papers. It discusses where to start, what questions to ask and outline some of the key things to look for in qualitative and quantitative methods to be able to make an informed decision about whether to and how to apply the findings to policy and practice.

About the presenter

Samantha Abbato is a Brisbane based evaluator with more than twenty years of experience and strong methodological expertise across a range of qualitative and quantitative disciplines. In the past she has held university lecturing positions and published papers in both qualitative methods (epidemiology) and qualitative methods separately. As a consultant, she regularly applies a mixed-methods approach and regularly uses both stories (case study) and pictures (visualisation of quantitative methods) in her work. Sam's academic background includes a PhD and MPH Public Health (Epidemiology/Biostatistics, UC Berkeley), anthropology and mathematics. Major areas of expertise in evaluation include: Public Health, Communities and work with Indigenous, migrant and refugee populations.


Date and time: Wednesday, 22 April 2015, 12:30pm to 1:30pm 
Location: Brisbane Square Library, Community Meeting Room, Ground Level, 266 George Street, Brisbane