Organization Development Network of Western New York

What is Evaluation and Why Should You Care? Organization Development Network of WNY May Meeting

Organization Development Network (ODN) of WNY

May 2013 Meeting Announcement

What is Evaluation and Why Should You Care?

Presenter: Via Evaluation

Thursday May 9th, 8:30 am to 11:30 am

(8:30 am to 9:00 am – networking; 9:00 am to 11:30 am – meeting)

Canisius Center for Professional Development

300 Corporate Parkway, Suite 130, Amherst, NY 14226

Meeting Overview:

Evaluation” and “data-based decision making” are common terms that are understood to varying degrees, but not always put into practice. People use evaluative thinking and make “data-based” decisions every day. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, you might look at nutrition information to decide whether to eat an apple or a candy bar. Or, your organization might decide to use one training program over another based on employee feedback and previous results of the program.

However, formal evaluation that elicits information that represents reality and facilitates accurate data-based decisions can be challenging. We will provide an interactive introduction to formal evaluation that will answer:

  • What is evaluation?
  • Why would I do evaluation?
  • How do I do evaluation?

First, we will provide a brief introduction to evaluation (the what), including basic definitions and approaches to evaluation.

Next, we will discuss with participants why you might conduct evaluations.

After this discussion, we will present an overview of “the how” of evaluation. We will provide information about four common methods of data collection and when each is most appropriate, how to collect information that is useful, how to communicate this information effectively, and tips for survey creation.

Participants will then break into small groups to discuss approaches to evaluating sample projects. (Please think about programs or initiatives within your own organization that you may want to evaluate or areas where you want to make data-based decision. Using your own projects will facilitate discussion and real-world application of what you learn).

Participants will leave with include knowledge about the following:

  • The basics of evaluation,
  • Four methods of data collection and when to use them,
  • Tips for survey creation, and
  • Ideas about how to evaluate a current project or initiative.

Company Information:

Via Evaluation is an evaluation firm located in downtown Buffalo. We work with clients throughout New York State on projects including evaluation of programs funded by state, federal, foundation, and other grants; creation of logic models (why a program is expected to work); incorporation of data and evaluation in grant proposals; custom-designed data collection and analysis; and a variety of others. Our focus is on helping organizations collect valid, useful information and presenting that information in a way that facilitates improvement and helps organizations meet the needs of their constituents.

Location Notes:

The Canisius Center for Professional Development is located in Amherst, NY.

Directions: Take the 290 expressway, and exit on Millersport Highway going north. At the first light (by the Marriott), make a left on to Flint Road. Make a left turn on to Maple Road. At the next signal, make a left turn on to Corporate Parkway. At the stop sign, turn right. The building is on your left side. The parking lot (no charge) is on your right. Complimentary coffee is available.

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