Preparing organizations for systems evaluation: Lessons learned from internal and external evaluators

Session Number: 2549
Track: Organizational Learning & Evaluation Capacity Building
Session Type: Panel
Tags: organizational capacity building
Session Chair: Joelle Katherine Greene, PhD [Director - Harder+Company Community Research]
Discussant: Joelle Katherine Greene, PhD [Director - Harder+Company Community Research]
Presenter 1: Scott McGrath [Supervisor, Research, Evaluations and Community Engagement - First 5 San Bernardino]
Presenter 2: Matthew Kronz [Research Associate - Harder+Company Community Research]
Presentation 1 Additional Author: Amanda Ferguson
Presentation 2 Additional Author: Jennifer Monica Moore [Research Associate - Harder+Company Community Research]
Time: Nov 01, 2018 (05:00 PM - 05:45 PM)
Room: CC - 5

Abstract 1 Title: Internal/external evaluator collaborations to build organizational readiness for systems evaluation: A view from inside
Presentation Abstract 1:

Scott McGrath, Evaluation Supervisor and Director of Community Engagement and Amanda Ferguson will share the internal evaluation perspective in this panel presentation. They will describe how they leveraged their roles as internal evaluators within a large county agency to support a shift to systems work and subsequently systems evaluation. Organizational readiness was built from the inside out, beginning with the evaluation team then with leadership team and finally the entire staff. The presenters will discuss how the long time collaborative relationship with the external evaluators helped support their internal work and will highlight specific activities and materials that helped support organizational capacity building at each level of the organization and beyond.

Abstract 2 Title: Internal/external evaluator collaborations to build organizational readiness for systems evaluation: From the outside looking in
Presentation Abstract 2:

Matt Kronz and Jennifer Moore have served as a part of the external evaluation team for the past 5 years. In this time, they have worked closely with the internal evaluation team to intentionally prepare the organization for systems evaluation as the organization's funding and work shifted away from programs to systems. The team will share frameworks and approaches that were most useful across time as the portfolio of funded initiatives included a mix of programs and systems work. They will also share resources (online videos, learning briefs, and training materials) and lessons learned about effective approaches to building capacity for systems data, the process of systems evaluation and findings from systems evaluations when working with organizational staff and their external stakeholders.

Audience Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Session Abstract (150 words): 

As public and private sector organizations increasingly shift the focus of their work to systems building, systems strengthening, and systems change, the nature of evaluation within those organizations will also change. Evaluators can play a valuable and unique role in preparing clients new to systems work to participate and learn from systems evaluations. In this panel presentation, evaluators and their clients will share strategies for preparing organizational leadership, staff, external commissioners and the public for systems evaluation based on experiences from a large public agency operating in a large Southern California county.