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CECAN Syllabus CPD Workshop: Evaluation Fundamentals – Choosing Appropriate Methods and Assessing Overall Quality of Evaluations

Guildford, 19 Nov 2018, 9.30am
Barbara Befani

Monday 19th November 2018, 09:30 – 17:30 (registration 09:00), University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

Tutor: Barbara Befani, Research Fellow (University of Surrey)

Course Details:

This course introduces participants to the fundamental aspects of the evaluation processes that precede and follow data collection, analysis, and report drafting; and that are relevant when drafting Invitations to Tender (ITT) or Terms of Reference (ToR), when evaluating proposals, and assessing the quality of intermediate and final evaluation products / reports.

Evaluation Quality:

Based on ground-breaking work led by the trainer and funded by the UK Government, this course introduces participants to a new approach to quality assessment, based on a broad range of quality dimensions that apply equally to qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods evaluations. The main innovation lies in the fact that the dimensions considered are the same for all evaluations and apply equally, independently from the methods used. They are differentiated, however, depending on the evaluation stage and evaluation product. Despite applying equally to all methods, the criteria are not generic and include aspects such as reliability and several forms of validity.

Methodological Appropriateness:

Choice of methods depends on the reasons the evaluation process has been put in place and the constraints it comes with. The goal of this course is therefore to familiarise participants with the logic and concepts of appropriate methodological choice. A broad overview of causal inference frameworks, evaluation approaches, and research methods is provided; and ideas on how to combine them into an overall design are discussed. A freely downloadable Excel tool developed by the trainer to aid learning, selection, and combination of methods will be presented.

Intended Audience: Policy analysts, commissioners of evaluation, professional evaluators, social science postgraduate students.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this session, students will:

  • Know how to assess the overall quality of a broad range of evaluation products, including ITT, proposals, business cases; and inception, intermediate, and final draft reports
  • Know which methods are most appropriate under different circumstances and how to choose and combine methods at various stages of the evaluation process, taking into account stakeholders’ preferences and organisational constraints.

Tutor Biography:

Barbara specialises in innovative methods for impact evaluation and mostly works as an independent researcher / consultant. She holds a (European) PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies (thesis in Evaluation Methodology) and a MSc in Social Statistics. She’s currently a part-time Research Fellow at the University of Surrey and a Research Associate at the University of East Anglia.

Formerly a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies with 13 years of experience in evaluation research, training and consultancy, her fields of expertise span set-theoretic and probabilistic approaches (QCA and Process Tracing / Bayesian Updating); methodological appropriateness, and quality assessment.

As former Secretary General of the European Evaluation Society (EES) and scientific programme coordinator of the 12th EES biennial conference in 2016, Barbara is an active member of the global evaluation community and past or current member of the American, European, British, Swedish and Italian evaluation societies.

How to book – Reserve your place by registering and paying via the University of Surrey Online Shop.

Cost – £375 (Government / Commercial Sector) / £275 (Staff at Education / Charitable Institutions) / £175 (All Students).

Please click here for details of ESRC bursaries for training.

Prices per person inclusive of lunch, refreshments and training materials.

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