Focusing Sessions: A valuable stakeholder engagement and evaluation design tool

Session Number: 2745
Track: Program Theory and Theory-Driven Evaluation
Session Type: Demonstration
Tags: Evaluation Design, Program theory, Stakeholder engagement, stakeholder involvement approaches, Theory-Based evaluation, Theory-drvien evaluation
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Christy A Ballweber [Evaluation Project Manager - data2insight]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Kam Yee [Research and Evaluation Assistant - data2insight]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Veronica S. Smith, MSEE [Founder & Principal - data2insight LLC]
Time: Oct 28, 2016 (01:45 PM - 03:15 PM)
Room: A703

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract: 

Data2insight created ‘evaluation focusing sessions’ based on Stewart Donaldson’s process for developing program theory and formulating evaluation questions. These one-day (or two half-day) convenings are effective tools for engaging stakeholders in (1) creating common understanding of programs, (2) making program theory explicit and testable, (3) framing and prioritizing evaluation questions, and (4) providing a framework for data collection and analysis. This process informs a responsive, robust program evaluation design as well as establishing a strong foundation for evaluator-stakeholder co-creation of knowledge.

 Data2insight will mock up and walk through the steps for planning and facilitating an engaging and effective focusing session. We will discuss benefits and limitations of those sessions, and how to secure stakeholder engagement.  You will receive a basic understanding of how a focusing session works, and a list of techniques and resources to apply in your evaluation practice.