OL-ECB Week: Joseph Bauer and Allison Titcomb on Collaboration to Enhance Evaluation Capacity Building

I’m Joseph Bauer, Chair of the Organizational Learning-Evaluation Capacity Building Topical Interest Group (OL-ECB TIG), here with Allison Titcomb, ALTA Consulting/ Arizona Evaluation Network (AZENET) /Local Affiliate Collaborative (LAC).  We have prepared this post as a model activity that reflects joint purposes of the OL-ECB and the LAC.

The OL-ECB TIG and the Local Affiliate Collaborative, comprised of a Steering Committee and representatives/ liaisons from local and regional evaluation organizations across the country (aka “Affiliates” of AEA), are exploring opportunities to expand and meld our shared interests.  We have similar missions and goals to build and support evaluation capacity among evaluators and we also share an interest in using “Communities of Practice” as a strategy for ongoing learning.

For the OL-ECB, there is the opportunity to leverage community-based experience and information with evaluation capacity-building over a wide area network, as well as enhance knowledge about the dynamic of community-based organizations – to be able to create two-way learning opportunities for problem-solving.

For the Local Affiliates, there is the opportunity to leverage OL-ECB activities and annual Conference sessions to expand the collaborative structure among the Affiliates that are spread across the country.

RAD Resources:

Communities of Practice:

E. Wenger, R. McDermott & W.M. Snyder (2002).  Cultivating Communites of Practice: A Guide to Managing Knowledge.  HBR Press.  Particularly, Chapter 3 -7 Principles for Cultivating a Community of Practice.

Community-Based Participatory Research: A Capacity-Building Approach for Policy Advocacy Aimed at Eliminating Health Disparities – Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a partnership approach that can facilitate capacity building and policy change through equitable engagement of diverse partners.

Using evaluability assessment and evaluation capacity-building to strengthen community-based prevention initiatives This report illustrates the use of mixed methods to plan, implement and evaluate a model to catalyze Community-Based Organization’s (CBO’s) systematic assessment of prevention initiatives and considerations in evaluation capacity-building.

Get Involved:  We have the idea of enhancing a Community of Practice that will create synergy among our groups – with the philosophy that we are stronger together than separately.  We would love to hear from anyone, particularly those that are members of the OL-ECB or one of the Local Affiliates.  We think there are plenty of good ideas out there – needing people to get involved.  Come share your thoughts.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Organizational Learning & Evaluation Capacity Building (OL-ECB) TIG Week with our colleagues in the OL-ECB AEA Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our OL-ECB 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@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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