Friday, May 17, 2019

2019 Spring Conference - Dinner Plenary Recap

The 2019 APPAM Spring Conference opened on Tuesday evening with a plenary that explored the academic and career experiences of four public policy and public affairs graduate program alumni. The session took a Q&A approach to identify the key benefits of these graduate programs as well as a few things that they may be lacking.


APPAM Institutional Member Forum - Bringing Rigor and Intentionality to Mixed Methods Evaluations of Social Programs

February 24, 2019 09:38 AM
hosted by:
June 5, 2019 at The Conference Center at Heart House, American College of Cardiology, 2400 N Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20037
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Mixed methods evaluation seeks to integrate a body of qualitative and quantitative evidence to form conclusions about the success, or impact, of a social policy intervention that neither piece alone—nor even the concatenation of their findings—can produce.  Despite its promise, concern persists that too often the qualitative and quantitative “mixing” occurs only after investigation ends and that mixed methods approaches lack the scientific rigor to be trusted.  A day-long forum sponsored by Westat and APPAM will focus researchers on sharpening and expanding the mixed method paradigm to respond to these concerns and to enable impact evaluations to make larger contributions to policy learning.  Major themes include the roles of mixed methods evaluation in explaining/understanding impact findings from randomized control trials and in strengthening quasi-experimental analytic methods to ward off selection bias.  A view of how government agencies can benefit from the approach follows.  Closing perspectives—both skeptical and hopeful—consider where mixed methods evaluation may take us going forward.  Audience participation opportunities interlace the day.
The full-day agenda follows:
Registration & Morning Refreshments 
8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
Welcome and Overview of Day
9:00 AM to 9:10 AM
• Scott Royal, Westat
What Is Mixed-Methods Evaluation and Its Roles?
9:10 AM to 9:50 AM
• Demetra Nightingale, Urban Institute
Pushing the Envelope of Mixed Methods Evaluation to Better Understand RCT Impact Results
9:50 AM to 11:00 AM
• Virginia Knox, MDRC 
• Debra Rog, Westat (Reaction, followed by open discussion)
11:00 to 11:15 AM
Using Mixed Methods Evaluation to Support Better Quasi-Experimental Analysis
11:15 AM to 12:25 PM
• Stephen Bell, Westat
• Jeffrey Smith, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Reaction, followed by open discussion)
Lunch Service/Announcement of Breakroom Assignments
12:25 PM to 12:45 PM
• Patty Troppe, Westat
Sharing of Examples and Real-World Challenges
12:45 PM to 2:05 PM
"MIxed Methods Evaluation for Better Understanding of RCT Results" - Michelle Derr, Mathematica Policy Research
• "Mixed Methods Evaluation to Better Support Quasi-Experimental Impact Analysis" - Michael Grosz, Abt Associates 
• "Policy Questions Besides Intervention Impact Worth Address by Mixed Methods" - Irma Perez Johnson, American Institutes for Research 
What Would Benefit Funders and Policymakers?
2:10 PM to 2:50 PM
• Maria Woolverton, DHHS/ACF/OPRE 
Marsha Silverberg, ED/IES/NCEE
Reports from Breakout Sessions
3:05 PM to 3:50 PM
Michelle Derr, Mathematica Policy Research
• Douglas Walton, Abt Associates 
• Irma Perez Johnson, American Institutes for Research 
Perspectives on What Lies Ahead
3:50 PM to 4:30 PM
• "Haven't We Been Here Before?  Convince Me" - Larry Orr, Johns Hopkins University
• "Potential and Predicted Progress for the Next Decade" - Carolyn Hill, MDRC
Open Discussion
4:30 PM to 5:00 PM  
Share your experiences at this event on Twitter using the hashtag #APPAMWestat!

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