Evaluation Capacity Building Workshop

From Craig’s previous evaluation blog site: southshoreevaluation.ca (sseconsulting.ca), which has now become this site (craigmoorenovascotia.ca)!

Today I was lucky to have been a facilitator for an evaluation capacity building workshop with faculty at the University of Saskatchewan titled “Making Explicit What is Implicit About Your Program as the First Step in Program Evaluation”. This workshop was put on to help build the evaluation skills of university members from a variety of disciplines. A handout from this workshop can be found on the Until Now page- thanks to one of the other facilitators for this.

As the title implies many programs are underway without an explicit examination being made as to the outcomes expected by these programs. Our workshop helped those in attendance think about the activities of the program that each of them brought to the workshop- in order to clarify what it is that the program offers its participants (activities), as well as the outcomes for participants expected from the program’s activities (outcomes). An example of this process- an evaluation matrix- that was used to help attendees think about their own program was from the work I did with a post-secondary education program and can be found on the Until Now Page (direct link here).

After presenting common evaluation term to attendees each facilitator answered the evaluation questions of attendees that were specific to the program they wanted to evaluate. This is really where my own passion for building evaluation capacity came to life. While working with attendee’s own programs- to break down the differences between activities and outcomes- I noticed attendees begin to more deeply understand the usefulness of thinking of programs in this way. A way that can help all stakeholders in a program to understand the common outcomes expected from the activities they are involved in.

Over the weekend attendees will be listing the activities and outcomes of their program then coming back next week to allow us to help them in a session titled “Planning and Implementing Program Evaluation” where we will help them more fully develop their program logic model and think about the best questions and ways to examine their program for effectiveness!

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