Evaluation 2019: Paths to the Future of Evaluation: Contribution, Leadership, and Renewal

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Evaluating for Systems Change in Social Services

Session Number: 2924
Track: Systems in Evaluation
Session Type: Birds of a Feather Gathering
Session Facilitator: John Ginther [Director - Third Sector]
Time: Nov 14, 2019 (12:30 PM - 01:30 PM)
Room: Hilton Minneapolis Ballroom ABC - Table 42

Other Authors: Stacey Gillette, Administrator of Performance-Based Contracting, Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families
Jessica Praphath, Manager, Third Sector
Nicole Kristy, Manager, Third Sector

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Many organizations are implementing systems change efforts. It is difficult to measure and evaluate the progress, effectiveness, and permanency of the changes in a large complex system. Focusing on process changes is easier to measure, but may not be sticky if the processes aren’t aligned with the underlying culture. By its nature, systems change involves many simultaneous interrelated movements happening concurrently, each of which can be perceived very differently from various stakeholders.

This discussion uses the Washington state example of the merging of three state departments into a new Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). The new agency uses a new performance-based contracting approach to create a new single Department culture through a common systems change effort. The discussion will probe what are potential evaluation approaches, experiences from other system change efforts, and best practices to understand the systems undergoing change.

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