Capacity building and competencies

Recently, I drafted a paper about a capacity building; I’ll be presenting it at the 2014 AEA conference. The example on which I was reporting was regional and voluntary; it took a dedication, a commitment from participants. During the drafting of that paper, I had think about the parts of the program; what would be necessary for individuals who were interested in evaluation and had did not have a degree. I went back to the competencies listed in the AJE article (March 2005) that I cited in a previous post. I found it interesting to see that the choices I made (after consulting with evaluation colleagues) were listed in the competencies identified by Stevahn et al., yet they list so much more. So the question occurs to me is: To be competent, to build institutional evaluation capacity are all those needed? Or can an nascent evaluator function competently having reviewed only two categories of competencies listed by Stavahn et al? The two categories on which this capacity building program was based included Systematic Inquiry (2.0) and Situational Analysis (3.0). And even then, I only addressed 2.2, 2.3, 2. 13, 2.14, 2.16, 3.1, 3.2, 3.8. Yet these do not list logic modeling as one of the competencies, unless it is housed under 3.2 (Determines program evaluability).


So my question is to you, reader, is what I offered in the capacity building program (Logic Modeling, Implementation, Qualitative Data Analysis and Management,  Quantitative Data Analysis and Management, Evaluation Use) essential? Is it enough? I’d really like to hear from you on this, because I really do not know. And although a summative evaluation was conducted after the program ended, I do not know what difference the program made in the lives of the participants. Whether the program had value, merit, worth? PLEASE LET ME KNOW.

Those of you who participated in the program, how has it helped you now that it has been almost two years since it ended (January 2013).

A new topic:

I will not be blogging until the week of October 20. I will be attending the Engagement Scholarship Consortium conference and AEA. I hope to see some of you at either or both.

mytwo cents.


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2 Comments Already, Leave Yours Too

Kurt Jones on 1 October, 2014 at 6:45 am #

The capacity training was a terrific addition to my program evaluation quiver. I was able to add several “arrows” into my overall educational programming and evaluation. Hard to believe that it has been almost 2 years since this program concluded.

First thought is that “capacity building” is a continuum as opposed to a destination. The 2-year program was a terrific baseline of various components of effective program evaluation, and I have continued increasing my skills through additional coursework both during and following the program. It has identified areas where I need further work. I don’t know if this was an intended outcome of the capacity building program, but it was of value to my professional work.

Molly on 18 November, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

Thank you, Kurt, for the feedback on WECT and for sharing your experience.
The discussion of competencies is a thorny one. There is no easy answer. Evaluation capacity building may be a continuum, not a destination. The journey of building skills never stops (my opinion); being competent may, however, be a time-limited factor if the individual stops journeying. Change is the only constant I see and change certainly relates to competencies. How one becomes a competent evaluator a challenge.

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