Evaluation Workshop: The Case for Project Evaluation

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Continuing with the theme from the 2011 Winter meeting related to evaluation, this hands-on workshop will focus on 1) why one evaluates data and their associated enabling technologies for discovery and distribution and 2) some basic methods for getting started with evaluating the impact of your own research or products.

On day one we'll start with a short overview of some examples of evaluation and assessment projects, then move into a discussion of some basic methods for understanding two critical elements of evaluation: who are your main stakeholders and how you can interact with them so that you can understand better how your work is being used and what impact it's having. On day two, we'll work through a practical framework from the point of view of Public Value. In the most general sense, public value is linked to individual and societal interests and to the institutional forms and actions of government.

The CTG Public Value Framework uses the concept of public value to help government and those that work with government understand the tangible and intangible values that information can provide to multiple and often diverse stakeholders. The purpose of this workshop is to provide earth science information researchers and government practitioners with tools and strategies to help them better understand the value that the information they work with can or is providing to their various stakeholders. During the workshop, participants will learn about existing CTG methods and tools and how they can be used to help support the design, implementation, and evaluation of earth science information projects and ensure that the value these projects can provide is identified, communicated, and assessed.

Workshop sponsored by the Decisions Cluster and conducted by Brian Burke, CTG at SUNY Albany and Dan Ferguson, University of Arizona.

Day 1: Thursday, January 5th, City Center Ballroom
2:00 – 2:15PM ESIP Welcome

2:15 – 3:00PM Agenda and Goals for the Workshop

  • Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) – Dan Ferguson (15 min)
  • Center for Technology in Government – Brian Burke (15 min)
  • Participant Introductions and Workshop Expectations (15 min)

3:00 – 4:00PM Making the Case for a Social Science Approach to Project Evaluation

  • Evaluating the use of climate information by wildfire managers Case Example – Dan Ferguson (30 min)
  • AIRNow-I Shanghai Case Example – Brian Burke (30 min)

4:00 – 4:15PM Break

4:15 – 5:30PM Understanding Stakeholders and Their Interests

  • Stakeholder Identification Strategies – Brian Burke (15 min)
  • Stakeholder Identification Strategies – Dan Ferguson (15 min)
  • Small Group Exercise and Facilitated Discussion (45 min)

Day 2: Friday, January 6th, City Center Ballroom
8:30 – 9:00AM Review of and Reaction to Previous Day’s Work

9:00 – 10:00AM Public Value Framework Presentation – Brian Burke (40 min and 20 min Q&A)

10:00 – 10:15AM Break

10:15 – 12:00PM Mapping Stakeholders to Public Value

  • Small Group Exercise where each group picks one project that a participant is working on and uses worksheet and instructions to identify stakeholders and identify the value delivered by their use of the earth science information provided. Each group will capture highlights of their work on a flip chart and be prepared to report out. Also be prepared to answer the following question: What if anything is currently preventing you from identifying stakeholders and identifying the value delivered to them by the earth science information you are providing. (60 min)
  • Large Group Report Out and Discussion where each of the small groups shares the results of their exercise (45 min)