Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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Organizational Learning & Evaluation Capacity Building Business Meeting: Reflecting on Exemplary Evaluation in a Federal Grant Making, ECB Endeavor

Session Number: 2358
Track: Organizational Learning & Evaluation Capacity Building
Session Type: Topical Interest Group (TIG) Business Meetings
Tags: accountabilty, collaborative evaluation, Evaluation capacity building, federal evaluation, organizational learning
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Matthew J Birnbaum [Senior Evaluation Officer - Institute of Museum and Library Services]
Time: Nov 12, 2015 (06:20 PM - 07:10 PM)
Room: Skyway 265

Audience Level: Advanced

Session Abstract: 

This proposed paper offers a new perspective on the complexities of defining exemplary evaluation by exploring its meanings as part of a collaborative evaluative capacity building (ECB) endeavor in a federal grant program with relatively low historic evaluative capacity.  It addresses two research questions:

  1. How does funder and grantee commitment to collaboration in ECB reflect choices in balancing concerns for scientifically credibility with usefulness?
  2. How does funder and grantee commitment to collaboration in ECB influence choices for furthering programmatic accountability, adaptation and learning?

These two questions will be examined through a case study of an ECB effort for a U.S. formula grant program called “Library Grants to States” (G2S) that is administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).  Their answers are intended to provide insights into the multi-faceted meanings of exemplary within a programmatic context where concerns for accountability and scientific credibility are presumed paramount.


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