An important aspect of managing evaluation is strengthening the evaluation capacity of individuals, organizations, communities and networks, including recognizing and supporting existing capacity.
Evaluation capacity involves more than just training. It can be helpful to pay attention to strategies to include different types of capital - human capital (knowledge and skills), organizational capital (technical infrastructure and processes) and social capital (supportive networks).
Evaluation capacity is not just about developing skills for doing evaluation. It can also include skills in effectively managing, undertaking and using evaluations. It can include developing an evaluation culture of valuing evidence, valuing questioning, and valuing evaluative thinking.
Many different terms are used for this (see synonyms above) but they are not defined consistently.
Coaching: Coaching involves supporting an individual during training or development in order for them to reach a specific personal or professional goal.
Community of practice: A community of practice allows a group of people with a common interest or concern to share and learn through a series of interactions, thus reflecting the social nature of human learning.
Conferences: Attendance at professional conferences helps people to identify relevant examples and further guidance, reflect on their work and get feedback on it, and form networks for peer support and review.
Evaluation policy: An evaluation policy outlines the definition, concept, role and use of evaluation within an organisation.
Evaluation Library: This provides access to print and/or digital resources such as evaluation guides, manuals and textbooks, and evaluation reports
Evaluation societies and associations: These help promote the sharing of ideas, best practice, current research and projects, and can be involved with the running of events, conferences and training workshops or courses.
Evaluator competencies: the skills, abilities, knowledge, experience, and/or qualifications that an evaluator is expected to have depending on their role in the evaluation process.
Learning circle: A Learning Circle allows a group of individuals to meet and explore an issue and learn from each other in the process.
Mentoring: supporting a colleague by sharing professional and personal experiences in order to support their development and growth.
Organisational policies and procedures: Policies and procedures which lay out an organisation's decision making processes.
Peer Coaching: Peer coaching involves two or more colleagues working closely together to improve knowledge and skills and create solutions to workplace problems.
Peer review for meta-evaluation: reviewing the evaluation by using peers from within the organisation or outside of the organisation.
Reflective practice: Reflective practice involves an individual reflecting on their work allowing them to learn from their own experiences and insights and engage in a practice of continual learning.
Supervised practice in teams: This is a model of professional development from social work where everyone, even experienced practitioners, is expected to have regular debriefing and reflection with a senior person on issues in their work.
Training and formal education: developing people’s knowledge and skills in conducting and/or managing an evaluation.