Social

Thursday, 31 October 2013 09:45

Creating innovative approaches to teaching evaluation

Written by    Volume: 19  Issue: 8
Rate this item
(0 votes)

What are Canadian universities doing to maintain their relevance and innovative edge in the teaching of program evaluation?

Our response is: A great deal. Despite the growing challenges to the federal evaluation function, there are many other sectors, including provincial, municipal, and non-profit organizations that are making significant investments due to growing demands for evaluative information, especially decisions affecting the allocation of resources. In some jurisdictions (e.g., Alberta) legislative requirements are institutionalizing program evaluation as part of a strategic review function.

To address these demands, several universities came together in 2008 to form the Consortium of Universities for Evaluation Education (CUEE). It is a voluntary association of 14 institutions whose purpose is to increase professionals’ and students’ access to graduate credentials through certificates, diplomas and degrees in evaluation. This is done by creating and sustaining opportunities to take university credit courses anywhere in Canada and have those courses count in their home institution. The vision will mean working across very strict and diverse provincial and institutional boundaries.

In addition, the CUEE assists each of its members to build capacity in their academic and professional evaluation programs, and to share expertise and research. A key role for the CUEE is to contribute to building the field in Canada not only as part of its programming for students, but also for the larger practitioner community. Faculty and instructors want to produce relevant programs and research that matter to various audiences. Academics are coming down from their towers and wanting to integrate what they and their students know into current evaluation practices.

The CUEE is working on various initiatives that contribute to its mission of national integration of university programs. First, it is working at increasing access for students to all graduate evaluation programs by identifying participating university programs and courses. The aim is to build a mechanism that allows the transfer of credit between universities.

Second, the CUEE is working with the federal and some provincial/territorial governments to put together specialized professional diplomas or certificate programs that suit local/regional contexts. These allow partnerships to be created between government bodies, professional organizations such as the Canadian Evaluation Society, and non-profit groups in order to deliver cutting-edge programs that matter to specific constituencies. At present, the CUEE is exploring ways to collaborate with the federal Centre for Excellence in Evaluation to create an introductory training program for its federal evaluator community.

Third, the CUEE is working with the Canadian Evaluation Society, the Performance and Planning Exchange (PPX), and the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration to provide a forum for evaluation students to present their latest research or projects. A key role envisaged by CUEE members is to find creative outlets for students to engage with the larger academic and practice communities through conferences, armchair discussions, webinars, and essay contests.

The CUEE has its sights set on even bigger things. It would like to create a national research centre in evaluation that would bring together research from various disciplines so all students can enjoy the fruits of this research in one place. It would engage governmental and other actors to participate, and build a Canadian field that would inform evidence-based public policy. The ultimate goal is to establish a national graduate program in evaluation that would provide central access to the best of the graduate schools in Canada. This, combined with its professional training mandate, would give students and practitioners access to a coordinated research and training capacity not seen in Canada in many fields.

What does this mean for government executives? It means that evaluation academics in multiple disciplines are finally coming together to build something new and fresh. It means that there will be a place for policymakers to explore not only their training needs, but ways to engage the academic evaluation community in relevant, professional and innovative research and projects. It also means they will have a place to have a coordinated dialogue on vexing public problems in evaluation. If this is not public engagement, then what is?

The CUEE looks forward to sharing this space on performance management and evaluation with PPX, and will be presenting regular research, public policy perspectives and other contributions from members.


For more information about the CUEE, visit our website at: www.evaluationeducation.ca

Read 5617 times Last modified on Thursday, 31 October 2013 09:54
Robert P. Shepherd, Karen Lawson, James McDavid and Theresa Hunter

Dr. Robert P. Shepherd is Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University, and co-chairs the CUEE. Dr. Karen Lawson is Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan, and co-chairs the CUEE. Dr. James McDavid is Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, and leads the CUEE Secretariat. Theresa Hunter is a doctoral candidate in the School of Public Administration at UVic, and is lead researcher for the CUEE Secretariat.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

 
Share this article

copy link

 bookmark article

 



Polls


Related Articles

CGE successfully completes 3rd annual summit
Canadian Government Executiveu2019s Third Annual Leadership Summit at the Westin Hotel in downtown Ottawa on November 18th brought in respected keynote speakers that left the audience engaged and informed.  read more...

Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee Report on the Public Service Embraces the Value of Project Management
In March of this year, the Prime Ministeru2019s Advisory Committee on the Public Service, co-chaired in 2015 by former Senator, the Honourable Hugh Segal, and Rick Waugh, former CEO of Scotiabank, released its Ninth Annual Report to the Prime Minister of Canada. The Advisory Committee was established in 2006 to give advice to the Prime Minister on the renewal of the Public Service. The Committeeu2019s objective is to help shape the Public Service into a more effective and efficient institution, distinguished by highly-engaged and highly-skilled people performing critical tasks with professionalism and efficiency.  read more...

Interview: Leading for Results
The Canadian Government Executive Summit is just one week away and, with all the changes taking place in Ottawa, this yearu2019s summit couldnu2019t be taking place at a more opportune time. Recently we had the chance to sit down with John Richard Jones, the group publisher of Canadian Government Executive, to discuss the conference and what it might mean given the political context that Canadian government professionals of all stripes are now facing.  read more...

The logical way to manage change and achieve results
The necessity for government executives to manage change, and achieve results, is an enduring quality of government work. Two fundamental assumptions support this view. Every government program, regardless of its scale or scope, exists to serve a purpose...  read more...

Benefits management: A better method for maximizing performance
Every organization does it, but often with ambivalence: the performance measurement process has become a mechanical exercise dutifully executed to satisfy corporate requirements.  read more...








Copyright © 1995 - 2017 1618261 Ontario Inc. O/A Navatar Press