Katherine B. Five Acres LaVelle

Special Issue

Perceptions of Evaluation Capacity Building in the United States: A Descriptive Study of American Evaluation Association Members


This article offers a descriptive picture of American Evaluation Association (AEA) members' attitudes and perceptions related to evaluation capacity building (ECB). For this study, we analyzed data that were originally collected in the spring of 2006 from 1,140 AEA members in the United States on evaluation use. The current study is an attempt to add to the ECB knowledge base by describing respondents' views concerning (a) the importance of ECB as an evaluation approach, (b) the role of evaluators in undertaking ECB-related activities, (c) ECB-related factors that influence use, and (d) the extent to which evaluation activities foster organizational learning and change outcomes. Respondents are largely familiar with ECB and agree that building evaluation capacity is a role of the evaluator. Linkages between organizational learning and ECB were supported. Learning-focused organizational outcomes were rated more favourably than change-focused organizational outcomes.