Our lab also has engaged in various efforts to build evaluation capacity. We strongly believe that the research we perform should provide important and actionable insights about how to improve the practice of evaluation capacity building. As such, we draw upon our (and others’) research about evaluation capacity to inform these practice-based efforts which include professional development workshops and collaborative projects to build evaluation capacity.
Professional Development on Evaluation Capacity Building
- Regularly offered professional development – Dr. Fierro regularly offers professional development workshops to train evaluators and others involved in evaluation about how to build evaluation capacity in their (or their clients’) organization. These workshops are offered through the Claremont Evaluation Center’s Professional Development Workshops and The Evaluator’s Institute.
- American Evaluation Conference – In 2017 our lab offered a skill-building workshop on evaluation capacity building – Identifying the Leverage Points for Building Organizational Evaluation Capacity. Lab team members involved in designing and delivering this workshop included: Albertina Lopez, Blake Beckmann, Matthew Swope, Heather Codd, Phung Pham, and Piper Grandjean Targos.
- Invited professional development – Our lab also delivers workshops about evaluation capacity building upon invitation from institutions. To date, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has requested two professional development sessions that Dr. Fierro has delivered. On August 1, 2017, Dr. Fierro delivered “Spreading the Wealth: Being Strategic about Building Capacity to Support High-Quality Evaluation Practice and Learning” at the CDC’s Evaluation Roundtable Series on Evaluation Capacity Building in Atlanta, GA. She is currently planning an additional presentation to support CDC’s Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention evaluation technical assistance efforts.
Evaluation Capacity Building
- CGU-Pitzer Educating Socially Responsive Evaluators Project – The Claremont Graduate University (CGU)-Pitzer College Educating Socially Responsive Evaluators Project is an innovative academic program where CGU graduate students and Pitzer undergraduate students co-create a living laboratory to share their respective expertise related to evaluation and socially just community engagement. As part of this project, we will collectively develop a Strategic Evaluation and Learning Plan for Pitzer’s Community Engagement Center and use participatory evaluation approaches to plan and implement at least one evaluation in the 2018-2019 academic year. This project includes a reciprocal relationship that will build both the evaluation capacity of participants from Pitzer and CGU—Pitzer students, staff, and faculty will infuse the evaluations performed with their expertise regarding social justice and CGU students and faculty will bring knowledge of advanced evaluation methodologies and approaches. This work is being funded by CGU’s Blais Foundation Challenge Award.
Lab team members involved: Kathleen Doll and Jennifer Villalobos.
- Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Partnership Grant Letter of Intent (Stage 1) – In 2018, Dr. Rebecca Gokiert of the University of Alberta was awarded funds to develop a full proposal for the Evaluation Capacity Network: Collaborating for Impacts in Early Childhood Practice, Programs and Policies. Dr. Fierro is a co-investigator and is currently collaborating with sixteen other co-investigators who work within Canada and the U.S. as well as many additional partners to develop the full proposal. The envisioned goal of this proposed project is to enhance early childhood system effectiveness by building capacity to produce and use data to improve programs, policy and practice in culturally relevant and responsive ways.
- Evaluation Capacity Assessment of the College Access Readiness and Success (CARS) program – CARS is a cohort-based college access and success program. The program’s mission is to prepare under-served students from low income, low performing high schools in the South Bay region of the Los Angeles area to attend and complete post-secondary education at CSU and UC — or equivalent — campuses. CARS is designed to be an on-campus, one-stop cohort program targeting freshmen who enter high school with a 2.4 – 3.5 (“C/B”) GPA. The lab will be providing evaluation capacity building assessment services to support with continued program improvement and planning.
Lab team members involved: Michael Fileta