Swee C. Goh

Special Issue

Organizational Capacity to Do and Use Evaluation: Results of a Pan-Canadian Survey of Evaluators

Authors:
Pages:
1-35

Despite increasing interest in the integration of evaluative inquiry into organizational functions and culture, the availability of empirical research addressing organizational capacity building to do and use evaluation is limited. This exploratory descriptive survey of internal evaluators in Canada asked about evaluation capacity building in the context of organizational characteristics (learning, support structures), evaluative activity and use, and variables that mediate use. We received a total of 340 usable responses to an online survey. This article provides a descriptive account of the findings with a cursory look at differences across respondent role, organization type, and self-reported perceived level of evaluation knowledge. Results showed a pattern of moderately high ratings of organizational learning and support functions, the extent to which evaluation is being conducted and used, and stakeholder involvement in evaluation. Some differences across respondent roles, organization type, and evaluation knowledge were observed. Results are discussed in terms of an agenda for future inquiry.

Fall

Integrating evaluative inquiry into the organizational culture: a review and synthesis of the knowledge base

Authors:
Pages:
99-141

The purpose of this article is to explore, through an extensive review and integration of recent scholarly literature, the conceptual interconnections and linkages among developments in the domains of evaluation utilization, evaluation capacity building, and organizational learning. Our goal is to describe and critique the current state of the knowledge base concerning the general problem of integrating evaluation into the organizational culture. We located and reviewed 36 recent empirical studies and used them to elaborate a conceptual framework that was partially based on prior work. Methodologically, our results show that research in this area is underdeveloped. Substantively, they show that organizational readiness for evaluation may be favourably influenced through direct evaluation capacity building (ECB) initiatives and indirectly through doing and using evaluation. We discuss these results in terms of an agenda for ongoing research and implications for practice.