My name is Scott Chaplowe and I currently work as the Director of Evidence, Measurement and Evaluation for climate at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). As an evaluation professional, much of my work is not simply doing evaluation, but building the capacity of others to practice, manage, support and/or use evaluation.
Hot Tips: Beyond the 5 considerations shared in part 1 of this post, here are the other 5, based on an expert lecture I gave on this topic at AE2017:
- Ensure your ECB strategy is practical and realistic to organizational capacities. ECB should be realistic given the available time, budget, expertise and other resources. This is underscores the importance of initial analysis and local stakeholder engagement to set up ECB for success.
- Identify & capitalize on existing sources for ECB. There are a multiplicity of resources for and approaches to ECB, ranging from face-to-face delivery to webinars, communities of practice, discussion boards, self-paced reading, and blogs like this. These resources can be used in solo or blended as part of a capacity building program that forts different learning styles and needs. Indeed, it is important not to ‘reinvent the wheel’ if it can be ‘recycled.’ However, do not fall into the trap of adopting just because it is available—ensure that ECB resources are relevant for the desired capacity building objectives, or can be modified accordingly.
- Design and deliver learning grounded on adult learning principles. Adults are self-directed learners that bring to training past experiences, values, opinions, expectations and priorities that shape why and how they learn. Principles for adult learning stress a learner-centered approach that is applied, experiential, participatory and builds upon prior experience. You can read more about this here.
- Uphold professional standards, principles and ethics. An essential aspect of capacity building it to instill an understanding of and appreciation for ethical conduct and other standards for good practice. Specific guidelines and principles will vary according to context – sometimes specific to the organization itself, other times adopted from industry standards, such as the. AEA’s Guiding Principles For Evaluators and Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation, and the JCSEE’s Program Evaluation Standards Statements.
- Monitor and evaluate your ECB efforts to learn and adapt. Practice what we preach and track and assess ECB efforts to adapt, improve and be accountable to our ECB objectives. This begins at the design stage, when identifying those capacities that will be assess.
Ancillary Consideration. The above top 10 list is far from exhaustive, and as it is about human organizations and behavior, it is not absolute.
Rad Resources – Read more about this top 10 list here, and you can view the AEA365 presentation. Also, check out the book, Monitoring and evaluation Training: A Systematic Approach, and this webpage has an assortment of resources to support evaluation learning and capacity building.
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.