Evaluation Training & Capacity Building
Evaluation training and capacity building engagements are a true blend of theory and action.
They are the marriage between theoretical knowledge in evaluation and evaluative thinking with practical application – how to use what we learn in the classroom to what we do in the field to improve our work.
Drive Evaluation Studio has been trusted by
Building on our roots as researchers, layering on our experiences as program staff in the field, and sprinkling in our time as collegiate educators, the Studio training and capacity building engagements are specifically designed to increase knowledge about evaluation, be realistic and actionable for staff, and be engaging and dynamic.
Why Evaluation Training & Capacity Building?
If you are considering evaluation training and capacity building, you’re most likely interested in one or more of the following for your staff, grantees, or partners:
- Supplementing skills with a specific technical need (e.g. the ability to develop fantastic surveys or create complex but useful Excel pivot tables)
- Developing or nurturing a culture of learning and evaluative thinking
- Fun professional development opportunities that can be leveraged for future work
you’re in the right place
Evaluation Training & Capacity Building
Engagements are designed to meet participants where they are and move them to the next level of evaluative thinking, technical expertise, and/or interest and knowledge of evaluation.
"Many of us have been really taking advantage of the studio’s coaching/support and I would repeat and re-emphasize using office hours. For me, I compare conversations with Elena to taking a garden hose that is in a heap of tangles and getting it onto one of those racks where it all hangs perfectly, except my brain is the garden hose."
Choose between existing workshops, semi-custom curricula, or fully customized engagements depending on your needs.
Available online, these are self-paced one to two hour sessions on a specific topic. They include hands-on exercises, with various social sector and education examples.
Sometimes you need what already exists with just a little more wrapped around it. Semi-custom workshops couple existing, self-paced workshops with live sessions and technical assistance delivered by the Studio.
Maybe it’s one of our highly-rated online modules with supplemental office hours with our team for real-time questions. Perhaps it’s one of our existing, self-directed exercises followed by a live debrief, reflection, and application session that we facilitate with your team.
These workshops are a good balance of self-paced and real-time learning, and they provide the opportunity to customize some of the examples we use to your organization.
Fully Customized Engagements:
This is where things get really fun. Whether a single session custom designed for your team, an intensive two-year program with one-on-one coaching on real evaluation projects at your organization, or anything in between, fully customized engagements allow us to design a program that fits your unique needs, interests, and timeline.
These engagements are designed to maximize learning with examples directly related to your work, and exercises that are applicable to participants in real-time.
These engagements include live sessions, typically with the ability to record and access materials later.
Once a client,
always a client.
We want this stuff to stick with you.
To that end, all semi-custom and fully customozied evaluation training and capacity building clients have access to the Studio’s learning portal for additional resources and real-time access to Studio staff via chat during and after their engagements.
Get Started with the Studio’s Evaluation Training & Capacity Building
Inquire with the Studio
To inquire with us to begin Evaluation Training and Capacity Building, you can fill out our inquiry form by clicking on the button below. Once we receive your inquiry, we will respond as soon as possible and reach out to schedule a call to discuss your evaluation needs further.
We look forward to speaking with you!
+ What is your evaluation consulting process?
The process is unique to each engagement based on the client’s goals, strengths, needs, budget, and timeline. That said, all engagements will begin with level-setting and groundwork, and they will end with a reflection.
In the level-setting and groundwork phase, we operationalize our outcomes, talk about how we will work together, and use any existing information available to develop a foundation of knowledge.
In the reflection phase, we talk about what we learned and how it will be used, and we ensure the client feels empowered to continue their learning and evaluation efforts after our time together has ended.
There will be some additional phases (usually two to four) in between to get us to the intended outcome.
+ Why do you have phases in your process?
It’s good practice in communication to provide feedback in a “sandwich” - good stuff, constructive stuff, good stuff again.
This way, regardless of the feedback you are providing, you are following a roadmap to do it. We think of consulting in a similar way - the elements of each phase will vary, but having phases lets a client know what to expect, when to expect it, and where they are in the process at any moment.
Studio phases are typically designed to map to different parts of an engagement, so they provide a point to pause.
At the end of each phase, we ensure we are on track and we use what we learned in the previous phase to enhance what we are doing next.
And like “a feedback sandwich,” Studio engagements begin and end with specific things: we always start with level-setting and groundwork, and in the spirit of learning, we always end with a reflection.
+ How does the Studio think about cultural responsiveness?
We believe strongly in equity – the belief that all individuals, regardless of identity, deserve an equal opportunity to contribute to and thrive in our society. This is a through-line in our approach to evaluation, teaching, capacity-building, and practice.
In our work, we continuously consider and review instruments, analyses, and reports to ensure the language, methodology, and approach reflect the people with whom we are working and the audiences who might engage with the products.
More broadly in our engagements, we seek to understand how our culture, values, and experiences influence our perspectives and others’ experiences of and with us. We check our assumptions, we seek out perspectives that do not align with ours, and we acknowledge that we are working in context – in real life – that is laden with systemic inequities. With each new partnership, we learn and continue to do this work.
+ You reference “flexibility” often; what does that mean?
Many engagements are executed exactly as they are designed. Others have to shift to respond to organizational and external factors that impact them (staff changes, an extended program timeline, even a global pandemic).
For as much as we are rooted in and committed to strong methodology, we understand that your work is happening in real-time and in real-life. We also know that learning happens as we work and from multiple places.
So, for the Studio, flexibility means staying true to the engagement design that will get us to our intended outcomes while creating space for iteration based on what is happening around us as well as what we are learning as we progress.
+ How long is a typical evaluation process/project?
This can vary drastically by client and by type of engagement.
Evaluations are typically about 12 to 18 months, with a few that have lasted just four or five months and many that were multi-year efforts.
Training and Capacity Building engagements range from discrete workshops for organizations (one to two days) to multi-year engagements working with various cohorts of stakeholders.
Strategy Consulting engagements also have significant variability. These last at least three months and can go on for years. The record for longest Studio engagement is currently held by a long-term strategy consulting client - they have been working with the Studio for over seven years.
+ How often should we expect to meet with you?
As often as you’d like!
As part of our engagement, the Studio will provide you with milestones and levels of effort for each phase of our work together.The level of effort is the minimum amount of your time and effort that we will need to successfully achieve our collective goals.
We will ask to meet every time we transition between phases, whenever we have a deliverable, and in accordance with the level of effort and milestones we provide in our first phase.
Beyond that, we will design a communication calendar that fits your needs. Some clients prefer standing meeting schedules (these range from every other week to once per quarter), while others like ad-hoc meetings as we move into various pieces of our work.
+ How much should be allocated for a Studio engagement?
While the financial investment is an important question, it is hard to separate it from the scope and goals of the engagement.
As a benchmark, clients typically allocate about 10-15% of their programmatic budget for evaluation engagements.
However, we create customized and tailored engagements for each of our clients based on what they hope to accomplish, the complexity of the work, what they already have in place, and the resources they have available.
+ What if we need an evaluation consultant, but we do not have enough in the budget?
Good evaluation is an investment, but sometimes your funds have already been earmarked for other important purposes.
Consulting efforts can range in scale, scope, and intensity, and their cost can be drastically reduced if you have existing databases, established outcomes and indicators, and can potentially take on discrete pieces internally with some training and capacity building of staff.
Inquire with us to discuss what you already have that you can leverage and what engagements might be possible. Minimally, we can share some strategies that you can employ now to be ready for an evaluation consultant in the future.
+ We have data from a previous evaluation, can we start there?
That depends on many factors. We can definitely talk about this.
+ How do we get started?
Fill out our inquiry form for engagements, and we will be in touch.
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