AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators



Developmental Eval Week: Nan Wehipeihana on Roles and Responsibilities in Developmental Evaluation

I’m Nan Wehipeihana, a member of the Kinnect Group in New Zealand and co-editor of a forthcoming book on Developmental Evaluation Exemplars. I want to share what we have learned about roles and responsibilities in Developmental Evaluation (DE) by reviewing the reflective practice experiences of DE practitioners.

Hot Tip: Understand the implications of DE being embedded in innovative and complex situations. This means:

  • Evaluative advice is ongoing, iterative, rapid and adaptive.
  • The evaluator can expect to work closely and collaboratively on the development of the innovation as well as the evaluation.
  • The DE evaluator will play a number of roles and innovators will become evaluators.
  • The tools and approaches the DE evaluator will draw on will come from many fields and disciplines.

Hot Tip: Because DE is collaborative, it is fundamentally relationship-based. This makes clarity about roles and responsibilities essential.

Rad Resource: Know and practice 5 critical DE roles and responsibilities:

Nan W

Hot Tip: Four practice-based ways of building the credibility and utility of DE

  1. Identify, develop, and use an inquiry organizing framework.
  2. Layer and align data with the organizing framework.
  3. Time data collection, reporting and sense making to meet the needs of key stakeholders
  4. Engage in values based collaborative sense making

Cool Tricks: Effective and experienced DE practitioners do the following:

  1. Place priority on deep understanding of the context
  2. Appreciate the varying needs of different stakeholders in relation to the innovation
  3. Build and nurture relational trust between the evaluator and the social innovators and funders
  4. Build a deep well of evaluation and methodological experience
  5. Maintain clarity of purpose – supporting innovation development and adaptation

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Developmental Evaluation Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from evaluators who do developmental evaluation. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


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