Chris Morris guest blogged on the Impact Ready blog about some findings from his research on the role of evaluation in accountability in interventions and programs in crisis effected communities. He focuses in this blog post specifically on the lack of participation by local communities in evaluations that are meant to provide accountability to those most effected. Click here to read the whole post.
Meta-evaluation is obviously a good idea that too often is foregone because of limited resources (especially when the evaluation may often be underfunded). Large, high profile, and expensive evaluations of equally large, high profile and expensive initiatives are more likely to incorporate meta-evaluation to assure that the evaluation meets accepted quality standards, and that evaluative judgements and conclusions are trustworthy. Such an example is the meta-evaluation of the evaluation of the Paris Declaration on Development Aid. The evaluation received the 2012 Outstanding Evaluation Award from the American Evaluation Association. The evaluation looks at how the principles of aid effectiveness have been put into practice by international development partners and the results this is having in developing countries. The international joint evaluation include a synthesis report, 21 country evaluations, 7 donor studies and several thematic reviews.
The meta-evaluation, conducted by M. Q. Patton identifies strengths, weaknesses and lessons learned from this large scale evaluation.
The emphasis on assessing student learning through large scale standardized and high stakes testing programs has not been an effective strategy for school reform and improvement. No real surprise there. Reform has turned on teacher performance, often guaged by the very tests that are so fraught with socio-political and technical problems. Too often moving onto another strategy is an ideological move with precious little evidence one way or the other. While there are problems with this study that looks at how teacher evaluation is conceptualized and conducted in these 10 places, the effort to engage in evaluation of the evaluations is laudable.