Evaluation 2016: Evaluation + Design

View Printable Version

Trust: An Essential Element of Evaluation Design

Session Number: 2514
Track: Government Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: credibility and use, evaluation politics, evaluation use, public policy, transparency, trust
Session Chair: Rakesh Mohan [Director, Office of Performance Evaluations - Idaho State Legislature]
Discussant: Leslie Cooksy [Evaluation Director - Sierra Health Foundation]
Presenter 1: Sharon Rallis [Professor & Editor, American Journal of Evaluation - University of Massachusetts Amherst]
Presenter 2: Andy Rowe [ARCeconomics]
Presenter 3: George Frederick Grob [President - Center for Public Program Evaluation]
Time: Oct 28, 2016 (01:45 PM - 03:15 PM)
Room: Atrium Ballroom C

Abstract 1 Title: No individual presentation.
Presentation Abstract 1:

Sharon Rallis, former president of AEA, is the Dwight W. Allen Distinguished Professor of Education Policy & Reform at the University of Massachusetts. She will tell her story of trust and transparency (or lack thereof) through brief stories of three evaluation situations: a faculty training project in the west Bank and Gaza; a federally funded Charter School initiative; and a school change project in a mid-sized New England city. The stories illustrate the good as well as the bad, utilization and relegation to the trash, success and failure. She will raise questions about why an evaluation went well when it did and why not when it did not.


Abstract 2 Title: No individual presentation.
Presentation Abstract 2:

Andy Rowe has worked for over thirty years as an economist and evaluation consultant in North America, Europe, South Asia, Africa, the Western Pacific, and the Caribbean. His work focuses on evaluation in sustainable development, natural resource, and dispute resolution settings. He has a PhD from the London School of Economics and is a 2013 Fellow and former President of the Canadian Evaluation Society. He says that evaluations’ dominant paradigm is based on western social sciences with important roots in European-origin culture. What if evaluation had different roots and was more organically and strongly connected to communities and cultural decision processes?


Abstract 3 Title: No individual presentation.
Presentation Abstract 3:

George Grob is President of the Center for Public Program Evaluation. He is also the chair of AEA’s Evaluation Policy Task Force. As head of the Office of Evaluation and Inspections in the US Department of Health and Human Services, he oversaw the production of more than 1,000 program inspections and evaluations. He also served as Deputy Inspector General for Management and Policy. As Executive Director of the Citizens’ Healthcare Working Group, he organized a nationwide discussion of our country’s health care system, leading to recommendations to the President and the Congress. George has testified two dozen times before Congress. He will share is experiences of conducting evaluations in a highly political environment.


Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract: 

If we want our evaluations to be used, we must start thinking about evaluation use when we design our evaluation.  For evaluations to be used, we evaluators must be seen as credible by policymakers, program officials, the press, and other stakeholders. In other words, credibility is everything to evaluators; without it, our efforts are to no avail.  Trust – both in terms of character and competence – is at the core of establishing and sustaining credibility.  This highly interactive panel will explore ways to build trust with stakeholders when designing evaluations and promoting the use of evaluations.  Panel members will share lessons learned from decades of experience in conducting evaluations in diverse national and international settings.



For questions or concerns about your event registration, please contact registration@eval.org or 202-367-1173.

For questions about your account, membership status, or help logging in, please contact info@eval.org.



Cancellation Policy: Refunds less a $50 fee will be granted for requests received in writing prior to 11:59 PM EDT October 3, 2016. Email cancellation requests to registration@eval.org. Fax request to (202) 367-2173. All refunds are processed after the meeting. After October 3, 2016 all sales are final.