The field of evaluation has recently recognized the importance of evaluation capacity building (ECB). In the past fifteen years, there has been a proliferation of ECB definitions, models, and approaches presented in the literature, with increasing recognition of the value of ECB for building stakeholder commitment to evaluation, fostering organizational cultures the support the practice of high-quality evaluation and use of evaluation results for learning and – ultimately – improving program outcomes. To strengthen evaluators’ capacity to build evaluation capacity, evaluation professionals are invited to apply to participate in an innovative professional development opportunity. The PACE Project specifically focuses on cutting-edge evaluation approaches including Evolutionary Evaluation, the Systems Evaluation Protocol, and Evaluative Thinking, applied in the context of youth character development programs, using an innovative apprenticeship model and a partnership between program staff and evaluators.
What we are seeking
We are seeking 8 evaluation professionals to participate in the Project. This group will comprise individuals with training and experience in the field of program evaluation. Experience specifically in evaluation capacity building (ECB), Evolutionary Evaluation (EE), promoting Evaluative Thinking (ET), the Systems Evaluation Protocol (SEP), and/or Person-Centered Analysis (PCA) is not necessarily required. We are seeking individuals who are currently working and/or studying in the field of evaluation including, but not limited to: evaluation consultants, evaluation capacity builders and graduate students pursuing a career in evaluation.
Commitment and Expectations
Evaluators selected to participate in the Project will participate in four categories of activities: in-person events (4 total over the course of 12-15 months), webinars, partnership work with two participating programs (in person as well as via phone and web-conference), and consultation with a Lead Facilitator. Evaluators invited to participate will receive a $6000 stipend plus travel expenses for their 15-month commitment to the Project and to two partner programs. Any evaluator who continues their partnership with a program to develop a formal evaluation plan will receive an additional $2,500 stipend for each evaluation plan developed with a partner program (up to 2). At the end of the Project, participating evaluators will receive a PACE credential from Montclair State University. In addition, all Project evaluator “graduates” will have their name and contact information added to a publicly available resource list on the websites of the John Templeton Foundation and the Institute for Research on Youth Thriving and Evaluation (RYTE Institute) at Montclair State University.
Applicant evaluators must have knowledge of evaluation methods and concepts, and must currently be engaged in evaluation practice in some professional capacity. More advanced and expert evaluators will also be considered. The selection of this range of prior evaluation expertise will ensure that the evaluator participants will have the foundation of evaluation knowledge, skills, and experiences upon which to build.
Selection criteria for evaluators will include:
- Experience in evaluation, including knowledge of social science research methods
- Interest in learning more about evaluation capacity-building, Evolutionary Evaluation, Evaluative Thinking, person-centered analyses and the Systems Evaluation Protocol in the context of youth character development program evaluation
- Intent to remain part of a network of youth character development program evaluation professionals
- Belief in the value of a program centered/participatory approach to evaluation and evaluation capacity building
In the case that we receive a large number of applications that meet the above criteria, we will make selections that maximize the diversity (in terms of areas of interest, specialty, and geographic location) of participating evaluators.
Timeline and Selection Process
The application period will open April 1st, with final proposals due June 15th. Selection will result from a review and selection by Project staff.
The evaluators that are selected for this Project will be notified no later than July 15th.
How to Apply
- A formal resume/CV
- A statement of background and interest(maximum 3 double-spaced pages), that describes what you hope to gain from your participation in the Project. This should include:
- A description of your experience in evaluation, including knowledge of social science research methods
- A description of your professional and learning goals overall, and how learning about ECB, EE, ET, the SEP, and PCA relate to your professional goals
- Your experience with and/or interest in youth character development programs, and how this relates to your future professional work
- Your experience with, and interest in, collaborative, participatory, or partnership approaches to program evaluation