AES Professional Learning


9 November 2017 9:00 am Australia/Hobart

Hobart – To Be Confirmed

This workshop is designed for those who are reasonably new to evaluation, and is aimed at equipping them with a core set of knowledge and skills that inform its use. These will be valuable for those who need to manage or undertake evaluations, or participate in evaluation activities. Workshop participants will develop an understanding of why and how organisations and programs undertake evaluation, including the approaches and methods commonly used in its application. Through the use of case studies and practical exercises, participants will have the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills to situations and tasks common to the evaluation process.
Core areas covered in the workshop include:
Role of Evaluation and Approaches to its Use
  • Nature of evaluation and how it is different to other forms of enquiry
  • History of evaluation and the political context for its practice
  • Purpose and use of evaluation
  • Who does evaluation, and how different stakeholders can participate
  • Importance of validity and sampling in evaluation
  • Different approaches to evaluation including theory based, participatory developmental, and quantitative and qualitative
  • Different stages of an evaluation
  • Common areas of focus for evaluation such as effectiveness and efficiency
Planning an Evaluation
  • How to plan an evaluation
  • Role of program theory and program logic to identify expected outcomes and impacts
  • Using evaluation questions
  • Using indicators and targets
Conducting an Evaluation
  • Common methods to collect data
  • Data analysis and synthesis
  • Drawing evaluation conclusions and recommendations
  • Reporting and dissemination
Capacity for Evaluation
  • Building Capacity for Evaluation and Learning in Organisations
Workshop Benefits
The increasing priority given to evaluation across the government, non-government and private sectors has brought a range of demands on staff. Knowledge and use of evaluation is an increasingly important skill set for those who may have new responsibilities for managing, conducting or contributing to evaluation. Additionally, given this broader need, consultant and other advisory services, and universities are increasingly developing their capacity for evaluation.
This workshop is a useful response to such a context, in providing staff and others with core knowledge and skills to enable them to operate in the evaluation area. The workshop also serves as an introduction to learning in the evaluation area, upon which participants will have many opportunities to build, either through the Australasian Evaluation Society or elsewhere. Suggestions, resources and links will be provided to further learning to facilitate this kind of continuity.
The scope of the workshop is intended to be foundational, in introducing participants to the nature and role of evaluation, and its application to projects and programs, and connections to broader organisational functions. The subsequent focus on planning and conduct of an evaluation provides necessary practical skills and understanding of the realities of evaluation practice. Participants are also made aware of different approaches, and the associated differing perspectives and values which characterise the evaluation field.
The approach used in the workshop is interactive, and provides participants with conceptual material, but also exercises and case studies with which to engage through group work. An emphasis is placed on applying knowledge to interesting contexts, similar to those which the evaluator may experience. In this way, participants will be encouraged to broaden their understanding and experience of the scope, benefits and also challenges of the evaluation area.