Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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Impact of Evaluation on Government

Session Number: GE4
Track: Government Evaluation
Session Type: Multipaper
Session Chair: Heather Evanson [Deloitte Consulting, LLP]
Discussant: Wanda Casillas [Deloitte Consulting]
Presenter 1: David Bartle [Consultant]
Presenter 2: Martin de Alteriis [US Government Accountability Office]
Presenter 3: Virginia Lamprecht [USAID]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Isabelle Collins [Principal Analyst]
Time: Nov 13, 2015 (04:30 PM - 05:15 PM)
Room: Skyway 260

Abstract 1 Title: An evaluation contribution to improvements in public sector performance systems
Presentation Abstract 1: Decades of experience with public (government) sector evaluation has provided both insights on 'good practice' and wider perspectives on public sector performance systems. The evaluation profession has established 'good evaluation practice' including models, guidelines and reviews published by professional bodies and academics. At the same time there has also been a codification of public sector performance 'good practice' by public administration professionals, schools of government and others. These approaches which include requirements for consultation and accountability have stimulated demand for evaluation. This can be both enabling and restricting for evaluators. There are also cultural differences and agency-specific views on performance within every public sector that can affect how rules are interpreted and work is commissioned. These differences tend to encourage evaluation diversity and partnership. However, stronger consistently applied rules can support evaluation objectivity. The dynamics of a public sector performance system are examined using New Zealand as a case study.
Abstract 2 Title: Assessing the Quality of Agency Evaluation -- Perspectives from the Government Accountability Office
Presentation Abstract 2: With some degree of frequency, the U.S. Congress requests that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) review federal agencies' evaluation efforts. GAO can be requested to assess individual evaluations, study an agency's body of evaluations, or examine an agency's evaluation capacity and practices. In recent years, GAO has conducted major evaluation reviews of the President's Emergency Program for AIDs Relief (PEPFAR) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). GAO has also considered evaluation as part of broader reviews of agency programs. For example, in the last year, GAO examined the evaluations of U.S. assistance to Lebanon, Department of Defense educational benefits, and the Treasury's small business credit programs. This presentation will discuss the (1) types of reviews GAO conducted, (2) standards and criteria GAO employed, (3) methods GAO relied upon, and (4) future directions, including how best to ensure that these reviews result in improved evaluation quality.
Abstract 3 Title: Building a Competency-based Evaluation Training Program at United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Presentation Abstract 3: Coinciding with the publication of its Evaluation Policy, USAID designed and launched two new competency-based evaluation courses: Evaluation for Program Managers (EPM) and Evaluation for Evaluation Specialists (EES). The EPM course was geared towards “generalists” who occasionally commission and develop evaluation statements of work while the EES course focused on more technical topics for M&E ‘specialists’ responsible for planning, managing, and promoting the use of evaluations. By the beginning of 2015, USAID trained over 1,800 participants. Building on the strengths of EPM and EES, work began in 2014 to design two new courses integrating performance monitoring and evaluation, plus a new third focusing on higher-level concepts and new approaches. All courses are competency-based and incorporate online learning to allow more classroom time for peer to peer sharing and learning. This session will present the competencies developed and describe ongoing efforts to ensure that capacity building continues long after classroom training ends.
Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract: 

Impact of Evaluation on Government

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