Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Tips for Becoming a Leader in the Field of Program and Policy Evaluation

It took an invitation to share my ideas on how to advance one’s career as a program/policy evaluator to get me to step back and ponder what I’ve been doing these past 35 years. Eight things came to mind, which I’ll share here, a mix of broad philosophies and specific practices. Any of these elements that speak to readers could become part of how evaluators besides myself go about plying their trades.That would be gratifying.


#APPAMWestat Speaker Interview: Demetra Nightingale

June 4, 2019 09:14 AM
Preceded by Stephen Bell and Virginia Knox, Urban Institute fellow Demetra Nightingale is the third and final #APPAMWestat presenter to preview her forum talk through an interview with APPAM.  Join us at our June 5th #APPAMWestat forum to experience her full presentation.
Why do you think quantitative analysis is often prized over qualitative? Why is a mix of the two better?
DN: Most professional evaluators come from quantitative disciplines and have quantitative training. And the most precise estimates of impact require rigorous statistical analysis. It is understandable why quantitative perspectives dominate the program evaluation field. However, integrating a range of quantitative and qualitative methods provides a richer and more complete understanding than statistical impact estimates alone.
As the Chief Evaluation Officer at DOL, did you see an evolution in prized methods during your time there?
DN: Over time, the focus at DOL has definitely evolved to requiring more rigorous quantitative evaluation designs, particularly RCTs, but also more rigorous qualitative designs.
In three sentences, what would you say you hope attendees who are not comfortable with both quantitative and qualitative analysis will take away from your presentation?
DN: We hope those who attend learn about the value that can come from highly rigorous qualitative and quantitative analysis. In particular, those who primarily use RCTs and non-experimental quantitative designs will gain a better understanding and respect for integrating rigorous qualitative approaches into their studies.
Demetra Nightingale is scheduled to present Mixed Methods Evaluations: Purpose, Scope, and Challenges at 9:25 AM at the #APPAMWestat forum.



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