Systems Evaluation

Evolutionary Evaluation and the Systems Evaluation Protocol were developed by REDSS Lab in collaboration with the Cornell Office for Research on Evaluation  (CORE) with support from a National Science Foundation funded grant (William Trochim, PI, Jennifer Brown Urban, co-PI). A systems evaluation approach considers the complex factors that are inherent in the larger system in which a program is embedded. In addition, our systems evaluation approach focuses on enhancing the internal evaluation capacity of programs and organizations. Our research is focused on assessing whether our approach to systems evaluation is associated with high quality evaluation plans and logic/pathway models and an increase in evaluation capacity for practitioners working in multiple settings.

The Systems Evaluation Protocol (SEP) is a guide to our approach to evaluation planning, implementation, and utilization and is a useful tool for anyone engaged in program evaluation and planning and can be accessed free of charge on the CORE website.

While the Systems Evaluation Protocol can be implemented as a manual process that does not depend on any specific technology platform, it is designed so that it can be enhanced by using the Netway, a Web 2.0 application consistent with second-generation web-based communities and hosted services such as social-networking sites, wikis, and blogs. The Netway is also available and can be accessed at www.evaluationnetway.com.

REDSS Lab is currently applying our approach to Systems Evaluation and evaluation capacity building with character development programs. See the PACE Project for more information.

Related Publications:

Urban, J.B., Burgermaster, M., Archibald, T., & Byrne, A. (2015). Relationships between quantitative measures of evaluation plan and program model quality and a qualitative measure of participant perceptions of an evaluation capacity building approach. Journal of Mixed Methods Research. 9(20), 154-177. DOI: 10.1177/1558689813516388

Urban, J.B., Hargraves, M., & Trochim, W.M. (2014). Evolutionary evaluation: Implications for evaluators, researchers, practitioners, funders and the evidence-based program mandate. Evaluation and Program Planning, 45, 127-139. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2014.03.011

Trochim, W., Urban, J.B., Hargraves, M., Hebbard, C., Buckley, J., Archibald, T., Johnson, M., & Burgermaster, M. (2012). The guide to the systems evaluation protocol. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Digital Print Services.

Urban, J.B. & Trochim, W.M. (2009). The role of evaluation in research-practice integration: Working toward the “golden spike”. American Journal of Evaluation, 30(4), 538-553.