Our mission in launching the EnCompass Learning Center (ELC) is to help build strong organizations, individuals, and communities who use evidence and engage in continuous learning. We’ve kicked off our ELC course offerings with a series focused on evaluation principles and practice.

Here’s what our participants are saying about Tessie Catsambas’ recent course on Appreciative Evaluation:

“[I most appreciate] the application … of Appreciative Inquiry – the ‘how-to’ and the instructor’s vast experience and her focus on answering questions …”


“I wasn’t sure what to expect from an e-learning course, but this course exceeded my expectations with the level of engagement, thoughtful conversations, and teaching material!”


“The engaging format on Adobe Connect was fantastic. … Loved the opportunity to apply concepts in our groups …”

For this week’s #EvaluationWednesdays post, we’re proud to introduce a few of the evaluation leaders who have joined the ELC faculty. These are leaders not only in the theory and practice of evaluation, but also in building a global community of evaluation professionals. We hope you’ll register for an upcoming course: Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from—and with—these top instructors in evaluation.

Bianca Montrosse-Moorhead – an award-winning evaluation leader

Bianca Montrosse-Moorhead is an associate professor of research methods, measurement, and evaluation at the University of Connecticut. She specializes in evaluation theory, methodology, practice, and capacity building. Her scholarship has appeared in the American Journal of Evaluation, New Directions for Evaluation, the Journal of Multidisciplinary Evaluation, and Evaluation and Program Planning. In 2017, she was elected to a 3-year term on the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Board. She also co-chairs EvalYouth, an international network that aims to build evaluators’ capacity throughout the world.

Dr. Montrosse-Moorhead has facilitated workshops and teaching clinics for the United Nations, the AEA, the European Evaluation Society, the African Evaluation Association, the Latin American and the Caribbean Network for Monitoring, Evaluation and Systematization, and other organizations. She is known for her engaging and practice-oriented teaching style.

At the ELC, she will lead our course on Using Interviews to Enhance Evaluation Practice (April 2020). Find her on Twitter: @b_mmoorhead.

Donna Mertens – a focus on evaluation that supports social transformation

Donna Mertens is Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University with a specialization in research and evaluation methodologies designed to support social transformation. Dr. Mertens has authored, co-authored, or edited many books related to evaluation methods and human rights, including Research and Evaluation in Education and Psychology: Integrating Diversity with Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods; Indigenous Pathways into Social Research, and Transformative Research and Evaluation. She focuses on the intersection of evaluation with social justice and human rights within the philosophical assumptions of the transformative paradigm. She served as the editor for the Journal of Mixed Methods Research 2010–2014. She is a past President and Board Member of the AEA and a founding board member of the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation and the Mixed Methods International Research Association.

For the ELC, Dr. Mertens will lead our course on Transformative Mixed-Methods Evaluation (June 2020).

Donna Podems – an international evaluation expert

Donna Podems has worked for more than 23 years with governments, civil society, nongovernmental groups, international donors, and foundations in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. She is the author of Being an Evaluator: Your Guide to Evaluation and the editor of Democratic Evaluation: Exploring the Reality, among many other journal articles and papers. She is a past Board Member for the AEA and the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association, past Chair for the AEA International Working Group, and AEA’s current representative to International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation.

Dr. Podems an experienced facilitator and trainer in strategic planning and M&E. In addition to teaching for the ELC, she is a research fellow at the University of Johannesburg and an Associate Professor at Michigan State University. She recently praised the ELC for making evaluation-focused learning more accessible:

“Accessing some of the world’s top evaluators is often out of reach, for many of us, for many reasons. EnCompass is bringing these experts right to your living room.”

She will lead our courses on Feminist Evaluation: Not your standard gender-responsive approach! (June 2020) and Being an Evaluator (August 2020). Connect with her on Twitter: @DonnaPodems.

Michael Quinn Patton – a pioneer in utilization-focused evaluation

Michael Quinn Patton is the author of six books on program evaluation, including his latest: Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods, Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use, and Utilization-Focused Evaluation. He has also written a book with two Canadian colleagues, Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed, that applies systems thinking and complexity theory to social innovation.

Dr. Patton is a former AEA president. He received the Alva and Gunner Myrdal Award from the Evaluation Research Society for “outstanding contributions to evaluation use and practice” and the Paul Lazarsfeld Award for lifetime contributions to evaluation theory from the AEA. He was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota for 18 years, including 5 years as the director of Minnesota Center for Social Research. He received the University’s Morse-Amoco Award for outstanding teaching. He also teaches annually in the International Program for Development Evaluation Training in Ottawa.

Dr. Patton’s ELC courses include Principles-Focused Evaluation (February 2020) and Facilitating Evaluation (May 2020). Connect with him on Twitter: @MQuinnP

Are you ready to join us?

ELC courses are open to all—experienced professionals and those new to the field. Our virtual offerings are designed to engage people from across the globe. We invite you to register for one of our upcoming deliveries, or let us customize a blended learning program for your organization’s needs. To learn more, visit the ELC online. While you’re there, be sure to sign up for the mailing list to stay abreast of new offerings and special promotions.