Facilitating Evaluation

Facilitating Evaluation, May 2022

Instructor: Michael Quinn Patton

Evaluation facilitation is a specialized niche within the larger world of facilitation. It applies and adapts general facilitation knowledge and techniques to the specialized challenges of working with stakeholder groups involved in program evaluation. The purpose of such facilitation is to enhance the relevance, credibility, meaningfulness, and utility of evaluations.

Evaluation facilitation falls within the Interpersonal Domain of the American Evaluation Association’s competencies. This domain focuses on the human relations and social interactions that ground evaluator’s effectiveness for professional practice. Interpersonal skills include cultural competence, communication, facilitation, and conflict resolution. This webinar will build skills in all of these interpersonal skills, with particular emphasis on facilitation as the bedrock of interpersonal evaluator competence. The interpersonally competent evaluation facilitator:

  • Fosters positive relationships for professional practice and evaluation use
  • Listens to understand and engage different perspectives
  • Facilitates shared decision making for evaluation
  • Builds trust throughout the evaluation
  • Attends to the ways power and privilege affect evaluation practice
  • Communicates in meaningful ways that enhance the effectiveness of the evaluation
  • Facilitates constructive and culturally responsive interaction throughout the evaluation
  • Manages conflicts constructively.

(Source: AEA Interpersonal Competencies)

This course is delivered in four virtual, instructor-led modules. Read about each of the modules below. Classes will take place online via Adobe Connect or Zoom. Certificates of completion will be provided at the end of the course to all participants who have successfully completed the modules.

Module 1: Evaluation Facilitation Overview: Dimensions, Skills, and Steps
May 17, 8 a.m.–11 a.m. EDT

This opening module will cover the five generic steps in group facilitation as applied to evaluation. Questions for establishing facilitation parameters will flow from framing and clarifying roles, responsibilities, and power dynamics. To enhance evaluation use, facilitation involves being active–reactive–interactive–adaptive; we will cover and illustrate what this means and how to do it. A facilitator self-assessment will build the scaffolding for facilitation capacity building. We will provide and discuss examples. Participants will share their own experiences and issues. We will also highlight classic evaluation facilitation failures as opportunities for learning.

Module 2: Five Operating Principles for Evaluation Facilitation
May 19, 8 a.m.–11 a.m. EDT

This module will introduce, explain, and illustrate with examples the five fundamental evaluation facilitation principles:

1. Be guided by the personal factor.
2. Engage through options.
3. Observe, interpret, and adapt
4. Embed evaluative thinking in all aspects of the facilitation.
5. Invigorate with leading-edge inputs.

Module 3: Facilitation Issues and Adaptation
May 24, 8 a.m.–11 a.m. EDT

In this module, we will identify common facilitation challenges. Usual issues to be discussed include: building evaluation capacity; why and how less can be more; going slowly to go fast; being mindful throughout; treating whatever happens as data; adapting facilitation to what emerges; and exercising your authority sparingly, but forcefully.

Module 4: Facilitation Cases and Opportunities for Practice
May 26, 8 a.m.–11 a.m. EDT

This final module will use cases to illuminate facilitation techniques, tools, and processes. Facilitation is a skill that requires practice and participants will have the opportunity to put all that they have learned into action. Afterwards, participants will discuss their experiences, and the group will generate lessons and effective practices.

Required Text

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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