Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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Exemplary Practices in Contracting for Public Program Evaluations

Session Number: 2047
Track: Government Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Evaluation capacity building, Evaluation Consultations, government evaluation, Program monitoring and evaluation
Session Chair: David J Bernstein, Ph.D. [Westat]
Discussant: Kathryn Newcomer [George Washington University]
Presenter 1: Jason Compy [USDA/FAS]
Presenter 2: Michael K Coplen [Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. DOT]
Presenter 5: Jennifer Hamilton [Senior Study Director - WESTAT]
Time: Nov 12, 2015 (08:00 AM - 09:30 AM)
Room: Columbus H

Abstract 1 Title: A Federal Government Perspective, Part 1: US Department of Agriculture
Presentation Abstract 1: Jason Compy is an evaluator with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He brings two perspectives to the panel. In addition to being an evaluator for USDA, conducting evaluations of international capacity building projects, he is also a Level II Contracting Officer Representative and manages USDA's 5 year, $10 Million task order contract on Results Oriented Management, under which USDA has already had eight different Task Orders.
Abstract 2 Title: A Federal Government Perspective, Part 2: US Department of Transportation
Presentation Abstract 2: Michael Coplen is an evaluator with the Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. He has an interest in building evaluation capacity, an evaluation culture, and evaluation oriented leaders across the federal government with the notion that existing contracts (i.e. non-evaluation contracts) may be a method of doing so. He will explore the kinds of evaluation tasks, standards, and common language that we as evaluators can offer as guidelines and codes of practice for all federal contracts, so that federal contractors are required to conduct formative improvement-oriented evaluations as an on-going element of their contracts. His examples will present lessons learned that could potentially be broadly applied to federal programs in general, including similar experiences and lessons learned that can be used by others who contract for and perform evaluation work in the federal government.
Abstract 5 Title: Contracted Evaluation: Perspectives of a Government and Nonprofit Contract Evaluator
Presentation Abstract 5: Dr. Jennifer Hamilton is a Senior Study Director at Westat with 18 years of experience in program evaluation at the federal, state, and local levels. Her research interests include programs aimed at risk children and youth as well as literacy education. She currently directs a series of evaluations for the Center for Economic Opportunity in New York City. Dr. Hamilton will represent her experience as an evaluator with a large employee-owned social science research consulting company. She will share her experience having conducted both government and nonprofit organization contracted evaluations.
Audience Level: Advanced

Session Abstract: 

Many government evaluations are conducted by contractors, but exemplary practices in evaluation contracting are rarely discussed. A panel of government evaluators, contractors, and academics will address questions related to exemplary practices in evaluation contracting. Specific examples will be provided, and audience participation encouraged. Questions include:  1. What are the most effective government practices for deciding whether to contract for an evaluation and determining what should be included in the scope of work? 2. What are exemplary practices regarding the negotiation of a contract or agreement for evaluation services? 3. Once an evaluation contract has been awarded, what start-up activities or practices are most successful? 4. As an evaluation progresses, what are the most effective practices for ensuring that evaluations are completed on time and within budget to address the information needs of the government? 5. What exemplary practices can you cite regarding effective reporting or presentation of evaluation findings?

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Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 6, 2015. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 6, 2015 all sales are final.