Managing evaluation: Responding to common problems with a 10-step process

Donald W. Compton, Michael Baizerman, Ross Velure Roholt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


There is now a clear choice of frameworks for managing program evaluation - the managing of one or more studies or the managing of an evaluation capacity building structure and process. This is a distinction with a difference, and this article conceptualizes that difference and shows how the two frameworks understand three problems common to program evaluation: (a) lack of systematic integration within a larger program improvement process, (b) difficulty in finding an appropriate evaluator, and (c) lack of appropriate conceptualization prior to the inception of the evaluation study. Two practice-based approaches to these problems are presented and interpreted using the two frameworks. These frameworks show clear distinctions and differences between the two managerial approaches. These are practice-tested approaches developed over 30 years of doing and managing evaluations in an evaluation unit in the United States, where there are seemingly clear differences with Canada in at least the public sector and in practices around stakeholder participation in relation to use practices. Our experience shows that program managers and managers of program evaluation services have clear choices in how they manage program evaluation in the public and nonprofit sectors across public health and other human services, and these choices have implications for organizational development, managing an evaluation unit, and interorganizational relations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-123
Number of pages21
JournalCanadian Journal of Program Evaluation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010


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