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Tamara Walser Provides Training at the United Nations

Friday, November 04, 2016

Tamara Walser provided a three-day training workshop on evaluability assessment for the United Nations Population Fund in New York City in November.

Walser is an associate professor at the Watson College, interim chair of WCE’s Department of Educational Leadership and an expert on evaluability assessment, an approach for program evaluation. In 2015, Walser and Mike Trevisan, dean of the College of Education at Washington State University, co-authored the book Evaluability Assessment: Improving Evaluation Quality and Use. The authors have published widely on the topic and presented at conferences around the world.

Walser and Trevisan were invited to speak at the United Nations because evaluability assessment is a strategic priority in the UNFPA’s strategic plan, and is seen as a means to meeting the United Nations’ newly established sustainable development goals, she said.

“Engaging with the training participants to teach them about and help them apply our evaluability assessment model to UNFPA programs was a powerful experience for me,” Walser said. “I’m certain that Mike and I learned as much as our participants.”

Evaluability assessment got its start in the 1970s as a pre-evaluation activity, but has evolved into much more and is currently experiencing resurgence in use across disciplines and globally, Walser said.

Walser and Trevisan define evaluability assessment as “the systematic investigation of program characteristics, context, activities, processes, implementation, outcomes and logic to determine: the extent to which the theory of how a program is intended to work aligns with the program as it is implemented and perceived in the field, the plausibility that the program will yield positive results as currently conceived and implemented, and the feasibility of and best approaches for further evaluation of the program.” 

Walser’s presentations and publications on the topic can be found on her website