Expert predictions can be a useful part of developing the program theory. Program staff can draw expert predictions from the literature or by engaging a group of experts.
Expert predictions can be used by the evaluator as part of assessing program outcomes. The evaluator can check the extent to which the outcomes matched the predictions and the effect of the program on these outcomes.
Expert predictions are often used in natural resource management programs and evaluations. When they are used for climate change initiatives they often take account of rainfall, water flows, water quality (salinity) in resource condition targets and subsequent management actions.
When they are used for river management they often take flow, water quality, and physical habitat drivers such as woody debris or substrate into account.
Advice for CHOOSING this option (tips and traps)
- Make sure there are experts and expert predictions available and relevant to the program you are working on
Advice for USING this option (tips and traps)
- Check whether program staff have used expert predictions in developing the program theory.
- Check whether any of the predictions have changed before using the existing predictions.
- If experts were engaged to assist with the program theory - facilitate the evaluators access to the experts during the evaluation.