Advanced Evaluation Strategies

The presentation will consider advanced evaluation concepts that would be useful for grant writers, pre-award/ post-award program managers, and program directors. The particular intent is to provide program developers with a better understanding for evaluation concepts to better plan for future activities. We highly recommend this session as an introduction to GPA participants to open a dialogue with their evaluation professionals for program development and planning for future opportunities.

The diverse group of experienced evaluators serve projects that focus on non-profits, youth-focused programming, PreK - 12 education, STEM education and training, public health, policy and social work. The session will provide an opportunity for each presenter to take the lead on one topic for a 20 minute presentation and small group activities. The session chair will conclude with a Q&A session.

In the session attendees will learn about:
1. Rigorous evaluation approaches such as Quasi- or Randomized Control Trials. While rigorous evaluations are labor intensive and expensive, they provide the opportunity for a program to identify the impact of their program initiatives. The presentation will include when rigor is appropriate and some common characteristics of rigorous approaches.
2. Long term evaluation partnerships that provide for sustaining program coordination and development. This will concern how ongoing evaluation may strengthen partnerships for program sustainability and future program development through additional and larger funding opportunities.
3. The differences and similarities among evaluation and research methodologies. While research and evaluation share common approaches, the intent and outcomes are often very different. For instance research serves to produce generalizable knowledge, while evaluation serves to judge merit or worth.

This session will be divided into two sessions with the second half being a deeper dive.

GPC Competencies Addressed:
Strategies for effective program and project design and development
Organizational development as it pertains to grant seeking
Post-award grant management practices sufficient to inform effective grant design and development 

Dr. Matt Feldmann is the principal researcher and owner of Goshen Education Consulting Inc. He started the company in 2009 due to the untapped need to provide data interpretation and evaluation services to the educational communities in Southwestern Illinois. Goshen Education Consulting is a reflection of his background, interests, skills and opportunities that include deep data analysis, clear and concise reporting, and a focus on program development.

Nancy Mueller is the assistant dean for planning and evaluation at the Brown School at Washington University. She directs the School's Evaluation Center which provides client-centered services to enhance a nonprofits' learning, capacity, performance and impact. Nancy brings over 20 years of experience in evaluation, strategic planning, and leadership and management. As a Leap of Reason Ambassador, Nancy advocates that meaningful and lasting social impact is directly tied to organizational perfor

Asma M. Ali, PhD, founder of AA Associates, is a program evaluation and applied research professional that utilizes a design thinking approach to program outcomes. She specializes in stakeholder-informed proposal writing, research design, implementations, and reporting to promote evidence based decision-making and program improvement. Currently Chicagoland Evaluation Association President, Asma has twenty years experience evaluating philanthropy, medical education, and community programs.