Robert Shepherd


Reflections on Inter-University Collaboration to Deliver a Graduate Certificate in Evaluation to Government of the Northwest Territories Employees

This practice note describes and reflects on an inter-university collaboration
to deliver a graduate credential in evaluation to Government of the Northwest
Territories (GNWT) staff . The collaboration involved faculty members from two
member institutions of the Consortium of Universities for Evaluation Education
(CUEE). We describe the process of negotiating a contractual agreement, developing
and delivering the program, and offer our reflections and lessons learned. Overall
this collaboration is worthwhile but is challenging to do in an environment where
universities are focused on their own academic missions and programs.

This is the advanced online version.


Special Issue

Expenditure Reviews and the Federal Experience: Program Evaluation and Its Contribution to Assurance Provision


Various forms of assurance are being demanded by different constituencies in the federal public administration. One form of assurance is that of financial accountability, and spending reviews are an essential input to processes that contribute to federal budgetary and expenditure management decisions. Program evaluation has also been an important contributor, but it may be the case that this federal function is overextended in that contribution. It may be time to consider removing this responsibility and attaching it to other functions, thereby affording the function to better focus on what it does best: contribute to program improvement, including effectiveness. This would also mean a shift in evaluation culture to one of learning, rather than accountability.

Linking Evaluation and Spending Reviews: Challenges and Prospects


The global financial crisis in 2008 was a significant watershed for governments everywhere. Diminished prospects for growth coupled with continuing demands for government interventions and chronic constraints on resources, prompted in part by the widespread adoption of variants of neo-liberalism (constrain resources to limit spending and shrink governments), have created fiscal environments where rationing expenditures among programs and policies is chronic and even acute.