Designing an Evaluation Approach for a Public Agency: Balancing Monitoring, Quality Improvement, and Staff Capacity

Session Number: 2107
Track: Organizational Learning & Evaluation Capacity Building
Session Type: Think Tank
Tags: Accountability, coaching, government evaluation, monitoring & evaluation
Session Facilitator: Christina Russell [Managing Director - Policy Studies Associates]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Yael Bat-Chava [Comprehensive Research & Evaluation Services]
Time: Oct 29, 2016 (09:45 AM - 10:30 AM)
Room: M303

Audience Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Session Abstract: 

Public agencies are commonly faced with the challenge of having multiple goals for the use of a single source of evaluation data—ranging from monitoring the implementation of funded programs to exploring best practices and promoting quality improvement.  This challenge can be amplified by limited evaluation resources and staff capacity.  The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, with the support from an external evaluation partner, grappled with this challenge over several years in developing, using, and refining a Program Quality Monitoring Tool.  Based on this experience, this session will explore strategies to address tensions such as:  (1) how can an evaluation tool generate information that meets both contract monitoring needs and supports program improvement?; (2) how can agency staff build capacity to become quality coaches, not just monitors?; and (3) how can a tool enhance both organizational learning for the agency and quality improvement for funded programs?