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CECAN Webinar: How to Evaluate – or Commission an Evaluation – When Everything is Messy

Online, 30 Jan 2019, 1pm
Dione Hills and Helen Wilkinson

Wednesday 30th January 2019, 13:00 – 14:00 GMT

Presenters: Dione Hills and Helen Wilkinson, facilitated by Martha Bicket

Webinar Overview:

Helen, Dione and Martha are all part of a CECAN team that has been developing guidance for evaluation practitioners and commissioners struggling with complex interventions – and particularly those working in complex policy areas. The guidance was requested by the government team of evaluators who are revising the Magenta Book (Cross government guidance on evaluation) with the idea of having an annex on complex evaluation ready for when this is published.

Combining experience in evaluation, complex adaptive systems and system mapping, the CECAN team has set out a set of guidance to the features of complex adaptive systems that pose the biggest challenge to evaluators, and what steps can help in addressing these challenges. This includes issues related to how evaluations are  commissioned and managed, as well as points to bear in mind when deciding which evaluation approaches and methods might be most useful.

In this webinar, we will go through the challenges and how these can be addressed, allowing time for participants to ask questions and discuss the points raised.

Presenter Biographies:

Dione Hills:

After eight years at the Department of Health, in 1986 Dione joined a team at the Tavistock Institute team exploring innovative approaches to evaluation design, particularly for large, complex, programme evaluations. Her evaluation work spans a number of sectors, including health, community development, social care, transport and the environment. As well as designing and delivering evaluations, she also provides training in evaluation methods and skills, which includes training in use of theory of change approaches, and reflective practice.

Her methodological work includes a guidance on evaluating community based health interventions, on the assessment of public value and, for the Department for Transport, on choosing the best evaluation approach for impact evaluations, and on logic mapping. Her environmental work has included an evaluation of a housing association’s energy efficiency programme for tenants, synthesis of data related to smart meters, and currently (as peer reviewer) contributes to DECC’s evaluations of the Electricity Demand Reduction pilot (EDR) and transitional arrangements for demand side response (DSR).

As a UK Evaluation Society Council member, Dione sits on two working groups: one on the development of evaluation training, and one currently piloting ‘Voluntary Evaluator Peer Review’ (VEPR), a new professional development process.

Helen Wilkinson:

Helen is a director of Risk Solutions’ with over 25 years’ consulting experience. Her work has included support to policy formulation, development of management systems, and all aspects of evaluation and review. She has worked at senior levels for the UK government, reporting for example directly to ministers in Defra. She leads one of three teams delivering quality assurance of the National Audit Office’s (NAO) value for money (VFM) evaluation reports.

Her work includes delivering

  • A realist evaluation of the Heat Networks Investment Project for BEIS.
  • A highly collaborative project for Defra and the Environment Agency using innovative, agent based, behavioural economic modelling to assess options for reforming the current system of water abstraction. This work formed the major input to the impact assessment for the reforms.
  • Work on the evaluation and appraisal of sustainable catchment management and flood risk management activities for Defra and the Environment Agency.


How to Join:

This talk will take part via GoToWebinar – please register for a place via the following link.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. In case you are unable to attend, a recording of the webinar will be uploaded to our website following the event.

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