Hello. I am Asil Ozdogru, an evaluation specialist with the Early Care & Learning Council in Albany, NY. In the realm of nonprofits and smaller-size organizations, capacity to conduct quality evaluations can be enriched through partnerships with local and regional entities. Establishing or enhancing relationships with key individuals and organizations plays an essential role in attaining additional technical and staffing support.
- Form an agency-wide evaluation advisory or steering committee composed of experienced academicians and professionals from higher education institutions and research organizations in your region. Those committees can be very helpful, not only in improving the design and implementation of evaluations, but also in establishing working relationships with other organizations. To identify candidates, check with colleagues and stakeholders in your community of practice.
- Develop a volunteer or internship program for college students in your agency. This kind of experiences helps students to develop skills necessary in workplaces; organizations benefit from additional staff support. You can reach out to the career offices in local colleges to advertise your program.
- Establish relationships with local professors and professionals to solicit help on specialized projects. For example, some of the complex data management needs of evaluators can be appropriate class projects for advanced students in information and computer science programs. Local nonprofit organizations or a small business could be viable partners for design and marketing purposes.
- National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator is a free online search tool that helps users find higher education institutions with any given criteria.
- A fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Education on developing and maintaining effective advisory committees.
- Standards and guidelines of internship programs from the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education and the Starting and Maintaining a Quality Internship Program manual from the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania.
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 email@example.com. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.