Michael Quinn Patton gave an interesting keynote address this morning on how evaluation needs to change in order to align with the changed and ever-changing world we live in. But how well has the evaluation commissioning process – and particularly the procurement guidelines in government) kept up with this idea?
What can we learn from both stunningly high value evaluative work (“dream projects”) and bitter disappointments (a.k.a. “Nightmares on Eval Street”)? In an AES presentation this afternoon, I drew on these experiences – and some thoughts about our changing, complex world – as a foundation for a “hot tips” guide for those who commission evaluation – and the evaluators who work with them.
The slides are embedded below, for those interested (click through to the post on the site if you can’t see them):
There was a lively discussion with audience members from both the client side and the evaluation contractor side. Perhaps readers of Genuine Evaluation will have some thoughts to add?
As a follow-up on a presentation, I promised I would post this audio interview/conversation I did recently with colleague Rire Scotney, who has considerable experience working on the client side. She and I discuss an innovative approach to commissioning evaluation, in a way that meets the central government procurement requirements, but works quite differently from the usual default. Enjoy! [Again, those of you on the email or RSS feed may need to click through to the post to access this audio.]