(37) Evaluating Our Way to Smarter Organizations -- evaluation leadership and contribution

Session Number: 37
Track: Professional Development Workshops
Session Type: Professional Development Workshops
PD Workshop Lead Presenter: Lynne Miller Franco [Vice President, Technical Assistance and Evaluation - EnCompass LLC]
Other PD Workshop Presenter 2: Jonathan Jones [Associate Director, Evaluation - EnCompass LLC]
Time: Nov 13, 2019 (08:00 AM - 11:00 AM)
Room: CC 101 H

Audience Level: Beginner
Learning Outcomes (PD Workshops): 1. To apply the outcome mapping frame as a method for developing a theory of change
2. To use appreciative inquiry techniques and participatory processes with clients to develop a theory of change
3. To support clients’ use of their theory of change in program design, monitoring, evaluation and learning.

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Good evaluation benefits organizations and programs from the first moment of engagement, before any data collection, analysis or assessment has begun. A first step for any evaluation is to understand a program’s or organization’s theory of change, which makes explicit the ideas program funders and implementers have in their minds and/or in documents about how the program or intervention is supposed to bring about the desired results of that intervention.  Thus, an important contribution evaluation makes to a client organization is to translate the organization’s business or program(s) onto a clear, organized map. This “reframing” occurs as the evaluator facilitates discussions to uncover the theory of change of an organization’s program(s), and supports the organization in identifying areas over which there is strong control by the organization or program; other areas where there is influence, but not full control; and ultimate interests and aims the organization or program is ultimately trying to achieve.

This workshop will focus on use of appreciative inquiry techniques (story-telling) and participatory processes that social sector organizations know well, and will help evaluators become neutral facilitators who help to explain and populate the outline of the theory of change, using Outcome Mapping language, to develop an “outcome map.” The facilitator asks questions that help the group get ever-clearer about goals, definitions, boundaries, perspectives, and meaning.