As an organisation with a vision for a more thoughtful world, in which citizens and decision-makers use evaluative tools to design and refine action for the public good, we’re optimistic about the potential of having an Evaluator General.

It is great to see the Evaluator General’s proposed focus on building an evaluation culture and evaluation capability. From the literature and our experience embedding capability building in all our work, we know how important this is to generating evaluations that are useful and used.

But it’s clear from the APS Review that there are considerable gaps in evaluation culture and capability. Closing these gaps won’t necessarily be easy.

However, there’s a strong evidence of what works to build evaluation capability that can be drawn on.

Evaluation maturity models could also play a role in helping progress capability and culture. Evaluation maturity models typically consist of criteria for success and performance levels that guide understanding and action about the planning, conduct and use of evaluation. The criteria can be tailored to an individual organisation’s context, and might include leadership appetite for and understanding of evaluation, resourcing, being able to leverage data, and being able to share learnings.

Once a maturity model is developed, teams within an organisation can use it to self-assess, identify priorities for development, plan actions to address these priorities and track progress. This means action can be tailored to the different starting points of teams.

If you missed Jade Maloney, Brad Astbury, Scott Bayley and Duncan Rintoul talking evaluation maturity models for AES ACT, here are the take aways.

  • With a growing focus on building evaluation capability across organisations, an evaluation maturity model can help you identify where you’d like to be, assess where you are, take action, and track progress.
  • A good model includes both supply and demand side – because growing quality and supply of evaluation won’t work, unless you’re also growing understanding and demand.

You can also access the slides from that session here.

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