|Systems-oriented Evaluation: From Afterthought to Forethought
Dr. Beverly Parsons – Executive Director InSites and President-Elect of AEA
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Noon – 1:30 pm
Location: 4410 Ellsworth HallIn the Evaluation Café, Dr. Beverly Parsons provides a framework for developing a systems-oriented evaluation. She provides a handout showing a step-by-step process for positioning a systems-oriented evaluation to fit a particular context. She illustrates how to zoom in and out between a large-scale evaluation framework and a specific evaluation using a systems orientation. She has used this framework in the education, social services, and health fields, and is currently working on its connection to environmental sustainability.
Workshop: Tools and Processes for Conducting Systems-Oriented Evaluation
During the workshop, Dr. Beverly Parsons provides practical systems-oriented evaluation tools and processes organized around four phases of evaluation—evaluation design; data collection; making meaning from data; and shaping practice. The focus within the design phase is on the connection of a specific evaluation to a larger systems change or sustainability purpose. (This is a transition from the topic of the Evaluation Café.) The data collection phase discussion focuses on systems-oriented questions. The questions draw on multiple systems theories. The conversation about making meaning from data brings in visualization of data interpretation and consideration of system dynamics. The shaping practice discussion focuses on using evaluation results and processes within communities of practice that are designed to address systems change and sustained movement in a desired direction.