Burt Perrin

Fall

Think Positively! And Make a Difference Through Evaluation

Authors:
Pages:
48-66

This article introduces a special theme segment of CJPE that identifies and discusses various approaches to evaluation that support positivity. It also discusses why an approach to evaluation that supports positivity is basic to the objectives and raison d'être of evaluation — to contribute, generally in an indirect manner, to social betterment. This article identifies several lessons from psychology for approaches to evaluation: that positive reinforcement generally is more effective in achieving learning and behaviour change than negative reinforcement or punishment, and that intrinsic motivation, involving internalization of values, is necessary for commitment and the desire to make changes. The article indicates how a positivity focus to evaluation is consistent with the demands of accountability and the obligation of evaluators to tell the truth.

Special Issue

Learning from evaluation misadventures: the importance of good communication

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Pages:
115-124

Good communication is a key factor affecting the success of evaluation in many ways. This article presents four examples from a variety of government and international organizations illustrating communication-gone-wrong, and often evaluation management-gone-wrong. The article discusses what can be learned from these situations in order to provide for more effective communication in other evaluation contexts, and thereby enhancing the relevance, quality, and use of evaluation. This article highlights the implications of these experiences for effective project management of overall evaluation functions as well as of specific evaluations.

Special Issue

Defining the Benefits, Outputs, and Knowledge Elements of Program Evaluation

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Pages:
143-150

The Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) has undertaken a project to explore the benefits that can be attributed to program evaluation, the outputs necessary to achieve those benefits, and the knowledge and skills needed to produce the outputs. Benefits, outputs, and knowledge elements were articulated and confirmed through a number of consultations with CES members and the international evaluation community. The consultation process was also successful in encouraging dialogue about the nature of evaluation and in raising considerations about the definition and promotion of program evaluation. The findings of the project can be used by the CES, and indeed by other evaluation organizations, to support their advocacy and professional development initiatives, and by individual evaluators to guide their own professional development and evaluation practice.

Fall

How can information about the competencies required for evaluation be useful?

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Pages:
169-188

This article explores the main themes and implications arising from the three articles in this thematic segment regarding evaluation competencies. It identifies five potential uses for competency information: (a) basic education and training, (b) selfevaluation, (c) professional development, (d) information and advocacy about the skills required for competent evaluations, and (e) assisting evaluation commissioners in choosing and managing evaluators. The article identifies the need for more attention to the competencies required by evaluation commissioners as well as those needed by evaluation practitioners. It also urges caution in moving toward accreditation or certification, suggesting that there are less drastic effective alternatives.

Spring

A review of "Effectiveness: Reporting and auditing in the public sector"

Authors:
Pages:
79-83