Hello from D.C.! My name is Kristin Mendoza, an alumna of the AEA Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) program 2014-15 cohort. I am a recent MPH graduate from George Washington University and I am excited to share with you my experience as a GEDI at the Office of Science Planning and Assessment (OSPA) at the National Cancer Institute. OSPA serves as evaluation, assessment and strategic planning consultants across the institute.
As a GEDI scholar I worked on the Program Assessment Branch on a number of projects. I also had the unique opportunity to work at NCI with another GEDI. It was an incredibly enriching experience and the training provided by AEA continues to drive my professional development today.
Helpful Hint #1: Always, always engage your stakeholders. In some cases, the evaluator’s role also includes sitting down with your stakeholders/clients and identifying the priority focus areas. Evaluators will be constrained by budget, resources, time, etc. and it is important to maintain the quality of the work as best as they can. Communicating with your stakeholders will help mitigate any set backs due to resource constraints.
Helpful Hint #2: Culturally responsive evaluation is defined in many ways and it is important to assess how your work environment, office or organization practices it.
Helpful Hint #3: Flexibility is key. Conducting an evaluation may introduce desired or undesirable results/findings. It is important for the work plan to be flexible, to communicate with the client when things come up and to identify ways to further explore surprising results/findings.
Rad Resource for New Evaluators: The evaluation theory tree originally presented by Dr. Christina Christie and Dr. Marvin Alkin currently at the University of California, Los Angeles. There are many versions of the tree that have come after their original publication. This resource helps new evaluators understand and visually see the different evaluation theories in existence as well as the practitioners. It definitely helped put things in perspective for me.
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from AEA’s GEDI Program and its interns. For more information on GEDI, see their webpage here: http://www.eval.org/GEDI 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.