IE TIG Week: The case for Developmental Evaluation Frameworks by Lauren Bloem

My name is Lauren Bloem, Manager of Monitoring and Evaluation for AchieveMpls. We provide comprehensive services for Minneapolis youth focused on career and college readiness, in partnership with the Minneapolis Public School District and the City of Minneapolis. Framing internal evaluation as a learning opportunity and not only an accountability task can be a challenge. I have found using a developmental evaluation framework engages more staff, creates co-learning, and increases buy-in for organizational improvement strategies.

Hot Tip: Use a Developmental Evaluation Framework to engage more staff

We used a developmental evaluation model to reflect on a newer program called the Career Readiness Initiative.

  • We established some key strategic questions that we had about the program.
  • We collectively documented who we would need to talk to about that question, and what method we would use to gather that information.
  • We assigned data collection for each stakeholder across staff, while keeping in mind power balances in order to gather valid data.

Our developmental evaluation framework looked like this:

Key Question: What were the strengths and challenges of program implementation this year?

Rad Resource: Explain developmental evaluations in a “flash” using Evaluation Flashcards.

Lessons Learned: It’s worth the time

We gathered a lot of stakeholder feedback! This process was iterative and time intensive but resulted in an actionable and shared work plan rather than a stale report. Through a series of facilitated meetings we shared what we heard from our stakeholders, and each staff was empowered to make recommendations based on what we heard.

Using the ATLAS protocol from the School Reform Initiative as the overarching framework we finally asked ourselves, “now what”? We used the final recommendations to develop a project management plan for program improvement, and used the template below to organize our next steps into a team work plan.

Administration & Knowledge Management

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Internal Evaluation (IE) Topical Interest Group Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our IE 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 aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.