We are Nichole Stewart and Laura Pryor and we’d like to share a preview of our presentation at the upcoming AEA 2013 conference. Our session, Performance Management to Program Evaluation: Creating a Complimentary Connection, will use a case study of a Los Angeles-based juvenile offender reentry program to demonstrate how “information and knowledge production” can be coordinated for performance management (PM) and program evaluation (PE).
Lessons Learned: There IS a difference!
Distinguishing between PM and PE has historically presented challenges for program directors and the public agencies and non-profit organizations that fund them. Programs have to grapple with day-to-day operations as well as adapting to evolving frameworks for understanding “what works”—from results-based accountability to continuous quality improvement to evidence-based everything. Evaluators are frequently called upon to engage simultaneously in both PM and PE, however the distinctions between the tasks are not always clearly understood or articulated in practice.
Lessons Learned: There IS a connection!
Fortunately, several authors have explored the relationship between PM and PE and outlined how PM and PE can complement one another with regard to data collection and analysis:
- Information complementarity– Use the same data to answer different questions based on different analyses (Kusek and Rist, 2004).
- Methodical complementarity– Use similar processes and tools to collect and analyze data and ultimately convert data into actionable information (Nielsen and Ejler, 2008).
- Sign in to www.eval.org and access the Spring 2013 issue of New Directions for Evaluation, Special Issue: Performance Management and Evaluation.
- Use the first chapter of Program Evaluation & Performance Measurement as a PM and PE primer.
- Download a free pdf of David E.K. Hunter’s Working Hard & Working Well.
- Read the Performance Management and Evaluation: What’s the Difference research brief released by Child Trends.
Source: Child Trends, Research-to-Results Brief (January 2011)
- To assist clients with implementing a new PM system, create a “Performance Measurement Activity Calendar” that outlines when data will be collected, who will be collecting it, how it will be stored, and when it will be analyzed.
- Be sure to attend our session in Oak Lawn on October 18th at 11:00 as well as other sessions that cover these topics in-depth. A few that we’re looking forward to: Choosing the Right Database Software, Integrating evaluation and Performance Management to Inform Evidence-based Decision-making, Evaluating Workforce Development Programs: What are We Measuring? What are We Missing? and Technical Assistance: Approaches to Collecting Actionable Evaluation Data.
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Business, Leadership and Performance (BLP) TIG Week with our colleagues in the BLP AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our BLP TIG members. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. Want to learn more from Nichole and Laura? They’ll be presenting as part of the Evaluation 2013 Conference Program, October 16-19 in Washington, DC.