Article: Using a community-created multisite evaluation to promote evaluation use across a sector

What do we know?

  • While a strength of multisite evaluation is the ability to build increased knowledge about a program, a limitation of this approach has been challenges in making data accessing to individual participants. To address this, the EvalFest project utilized a community-created approach to multisite evaluation and serves as a case example.
  • EvalFest was developed around a model of developing a community of practice (CoP). As such, this foundation provided a structure for how the multisite evaluation would be conducted and what roles CoP members would play in its implementation. The multisite evaluation model (MSE) was developed collaboratively in a negotiated context.
  • As part of the development and implementation process, a set of shared measures and data collection systems were identified, as well as a shared database for accessing and reporting collected data.
  • Information gathered from the EvalFest project highlighted the ways in which this approach indicated successful data access and use across the partner sites.

How do we know?

To assess evaluation use, EvalFest partners were interviewed by an external evaluator and surveyed annually. This information showcased the ways in which partners were using their data. All partners mentioned at least one example of data use, while 11 mentioned all four types – instrumental, conceptual, process, and symbolic usages.

Where do we go to learn more?

Peterman, Karen, and M. J. Gathings. (2019). “Using a community-created multisite evaluation to promote evaluation use across a sector.” Evaluation and Program Planning, 74(54-60).