Youth-Focused Evaluation: What is Good Work?

Session Number: 2980
Track: Presidential Strand
Session Type: Multipaper
Session Chair: Mónica Ruiz-Casares [McGill University & CSSS de la Montagne]
Presenter 1: Silvana Bialosiewicz [Claremont Graduate University]
Presenter 2: Katie Richards-Schuster [University of Michigan]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Tiffany D Berry [Research Associate Professor - Claremont Graduate University]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Kim Sabo Flores [Senior Vice President and Co-Founder, Algorhythm - Algorhythm]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: David White [Associate Professor, 4-H Youth Development Specialist - Oregon State University]
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Mary Arnold [Professor/Y-H Youth Development Speacialist - Oregon State University]
Time: Nov 12, 2015 (02:00 PM - 02:45 PM)
Room: Plaza A

Abstract 1 Title: What is Good Work? Youth-Program Evaluator Perspectives on High Quality Practice
Presentation Abstract 1: It is well established that contextual sensitivity is a critical element of exemplary evaluation. However, little is known about how evaluators operationalize and practice contextual sensitivity in the context of programs for children and youth. This paper presents the findings of an in depth interview study of a diverse group of 25 youth-program evaluators. The interviews explored these evaluators’ preferred approaches to evaluating programs for children and youth, their personal definitions of high quality youth-program evaluation, and the barriers and challenges they experience in doing good work. This study also examined the relationship between evaluators’ disciplinary training and experience, and their perspectives on evaluation quality. The findings from this study expand our understanding of the practices that may contribute to exemplary evaluation in this context, and the individual, institutional, and political barriers that may inhibit high quality practice.
Abstract 2 Title: Youth-Focused Evaluation: Status of the Field
Presentation Abstract 2: Youth-focused evaluation is emerging as a field of practice within the broader field of evaluation. To date, however, there has been no known research to understand and describe the work and perspectives of those engaged in youth-focused evaluation. Drawing on a survey of the Youth Focused Evaluation Topical Interest Group (YFE TIG) membership (N=64), this paper reports on the results of a pilot study to examine the status of the field. In particular, this paper presents the descriptive findings from the survey, including roles, locations of practice, skills, and definitions of youth-focused evaluation. We will also describe members’ perspectives on important challenges facing youth-focused evaluation and discuss key issues and themes for moving the field forward. From this pilot research, we explore implications for youth-focused evaluation as a field of practice, for the YFE TIG, and for the broader field of evaluation.
Audience Level: None

Session Abstract: 

TIG Multipaper