Being an Evaluator, September 2024

Instructor: Donna Podems

Are you new to the field of evaluation? Are you wondering what it’s all about? Will you be commissioning an evaluation? This course will demystify the evaluation journey and explore the choices, roles and challenges that evaluators must navigate in the real world. Join us for a two module course designed to help explore the world of evaluation practice. Case studies, exercises and small group conversations will help participants learn how to clarify interventions, identify beneficiaries, gather data, discuss results, and develop recommendations, all the while fostering a reflective, ethical and culturally sensitive evaluation practice.

The Being an Evaluator course is delivered in two virtual, instructor-led modules. Classes will take place online via Zoom. Certificates of completion will be provided at the end of the course to all participants who have successfully completed the modules. Read more about each of the modules below. 

We hope to see you online soon! Please contact us with any questions at

Module 1: Evaluation 101
September 16, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. EDT

In this first module we will review monitoring and evaluation terminology, distinguish between evaluation and research, sort out the problem statement, recognizing its importance in the whole evaluation journey, and think about stakeholders, who they are and why they matter? We will explore the difference between facts and assumptions, look at methods of inquiry and think about what it means to have credible data, credible evidence, and credible evaluations. We will wrap up by illustrating how to make an intervention evaluable by linking a problem statement with an intervention and results. Participants will explore how to break down results so that they are assessable and measurable and recognize the importance of having a program logic model and theory of change be explicit and go hand in hand.

Module 2: The Maze of Evaluation Choices
September 18, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. EDT

This module will start with reviewing a program’s theory of change and exploring how to identify what to assess and when. Through an interactive activity, participants will walk through a sample evaluation design. We will consider how to engage with values, and values are embedded in every aspect of the evaluative process, and how participants in the process can have different values. We will talk about the multitude of choices that an evaluator must make to provide the most accurate, feasible, credible and useful evaluation to specific users, at that time, for that intervention, in that context, and with those resources. We will wrap up by learning about evaluation reports and think about how to provide specific and actionable recommendations. Don’t be surprised if you learn some evaluation trade secrets along the way!

Required Text

  • Being an Evaluator: Your Practical Guide to Evaluation

    To accommodate participants’ budgets and preferred reading format, we do not insist that recommended or required texts be purchased through the EnCompass Learning Center. Participants can choose to purchase new, used, or electronic versions of textbooks depending on their needs. Please note that we have no preferred vendor, and that the link on our website is only provided for convenience and is not meant as an endorsement of any kind. As such, the ELC will not be responsible for any issues that arise related to textbooks purchases and we will not issue any course refunds or vouchers due to textbook related issues.

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