Competencies Task Force Week: Dale Berger, Robin Miller and Michelle Gensinger on the Methodology Domain

This is Dale Berger, Claremont Graduate University, Robin Miller, Michigan State University, and Michelle Gensinger, University of Minnesota, members of AEA’s Competencies Task Force. The competencies included in this 2/24/16 DRAFT Methodology Domain are those that focus on the methodological knowledge and skills fundamental to evaluation practice.


Unresolved Issues:  In developing the methodology competencies, our Task Force identified three underlying tensions where we ask for your help in shaping the final content.

  1. Its very name suggests that evaluation is an act of judgment, and yet, for many practitioners, evaluation practice includes many other activities. In competency 2.12 we included the phrase “when appropriateto acknowledge the importance of evaluative judgment while not suggesting that every evaluation addresses it.
  2. We included competencies for two activities that not all evaluators may engage in: literature reviews, and meta-evaluations. Our thought was to include the first because evaluators should ground their work in what is known from existing research and the second because it is one of the domains of the Program Evaluation Standards.
  3. There is no competency related to developing recommendations. The question of whether or not to include recommendations reflects another long-standing tension in the field.

Get Involved: As noted, the task force is serious about getting input from AEA’s broad membership to be sure that we consider multiple perspectives as we prepare the final version for a vote by AEA members. Let us know your thoughts on the AEA homepage ( Also, keep reading aea365 this week for draft competencies from the remaining three domains.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating AEA’s Competencies Task Force week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from members of AEA’s Competencies Task Force. 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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