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CPE Week: David Fetterman on Empowerment Evaluation

I am David Fetterman, past-president of the American Evaluation Association and co-chair of the Collaborative, Participatory and Empowerment Evaluation TIG.  I have 25 years of experience at Stanford University.  Fetterman & Associates is my international evaluation consulting firm. I am also a professor of education in the School of Education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

I have worked together with my friend and colleague Abraham Wandersman and many students and colleagues on empowerment evaluation issues, articles, and books for over 17 years.   I would like to share a few tips, tools, and resources with you based on our experience.

Rad Resources:

Accumulated tools, videos, guides, and even arguments connected with empowerment evaluation.

Latest projects, announcements, awards, and publications related to empowerment evaluation.

A way to invite collaboration.  Everyone you invite can create their own web page at the same site.

This was a fun debate with my colleagues – the two Michaels.  Folks were impressed with it in part because it was both informative and civil.

Rad Resource: Recent Article: Academic Medicine

Fetterman, D.M., Deitz, J., and Gesundheit, N. (2010).  Empowerment evaluation: a collaborative approach to evaluating and transforming a medical school curriculum.  Academic Medicine, 85(5):813-820.

It is a case example of how empowerment evaluation was applied to the Stanford University School of Medicine. This project demonstrated the statistical significance of our work.

Rad Resources: New tools for videoconferencing include:

Videoconference with colleagues for free. Conversational look to it since the screen shots are side by side.  Share the exchange with others or produce brief taped sessions for webinars and related training exercises.  Helps maintain contact with folks in the field at their site and build capacity.

Videoconference using your Gmail account and keeps everything integrated, smooth, and seamless.  Not as sophisticated as ooVoo or Skype but once installed it is part of the email system – thus you and your colleagues are more likely to use it.

This is a tool to share computer data and presentations remotely. Project your presentation on a colleagues’ computer and if they are part of a remote group they can project it on their LCD projector.  Access files on colleagues computer with their permission.  Share files in a collaborative fashion. Build collaboration and capacity because folks in the field can help each other out and share files with this device.

I hope you enjoy some of these tools. I have found them to make empowerment evaluation projects much easier and encourage collaboration and cooperation.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Collaborative, Participatory & Empowerment Evaluation (CPE) Week with our colleagues in the CPE AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our CPE members and you may wish to consider subscribing to our weekly headlines and resources list where we’ll be highlighting CPE resources. 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.

4 thoughts on “CPE Week: David Fetterman on Empowerment Evaluation”

  1. Pingback: CPE Week: Wayne Miller on Radargrams and Empowerment Evaluation · AEA365

  2. Liliana

    Glad you liked the tools.
    Yes – videoconferencing (including videochat built into gmail) is a very convenient way of maintaining contact (which is critical to maintain a relationship). Thanks for highlighting how these technological tools are selected for a reason – they help facilitate an evaluation (both mechanically and in terms of the virtual social glue that holds it together).


  3. Hi David
    Thank you for these useful tools to easily share information in evaluations. I use videoconferencing on a daily basis because it is convenient, flexible, and provides a great alternative to business trips.

  4. Hi

    Many thanks to everyone who has been emailing about this empowerment evaluation blog posting, but feel free to post your comments here in the blog for others to see. I think many others have the same questions and comments. Let me summarize what has come in todate:

    1. web site – many thanks for all the nice comments about our web site. I agree there are many useful tools on the site – we sift through literally hundreds of pages a year to find useful tools, documents, and materials.

    In response to one of the questions that came up – yes I selected the format on purpose – a simple white background with a few pictures and very little text on the initial screen. As folks want more information there is a tremendous amount of text and materials to read and download on the linked pages. I just did not want to clutter the first level of the site.

    2. videoconferencing – I use many videoconferencing tools. Skype is probably the most typical one I use. However, I have been enjoying ooVoo lately because it looks like an interview you are having with a colleague since the screens are side by side. In addition, you can record it and use it as a tiny webinar for folks who were not part of the conversation. It helps to keep things/conversations transparent in a project or evaluation. For an example of ooVoo see:


    and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the hypertext link under the picture of Heather and me. (She conducted an interview with me and shared the recording with her folks.)

    or to see the video directly go to:


    You will see a tiny 15 second video of what ooVoo looks like and how you can turn the taped or recorded interview into a tiny movie.

    So keep the comments and questions coming, but please feel free to post them here in the blog or 365 tips domain. I will, of course, keep on responding to questions via email especially the sensitive or problematic ones, but even for those questions and comments, I encourage you to post them here for others to benefit from if possible. Take care and once again many thanks for the kind words coming this way.

    – David

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