Friday, 9.00-9.30, Academy Hall

Evaluation in today’s political, social and technological climate. Kathryn Newcomer, President, American Evaluation Association (AEA).
We like to consider evidence-based policy and data-driven decision-making the new normal. But are they really? How does the current political, social and technological climate impact on evaluation practice in public and non-profit sectors? What are the characteristics of the ‘fixed’ and the ‘growth’ mindsets when it comes to evidence-based policy and what are the challenges for evaluation? How can evaluators navigate the tension between producing evidence to demonstrate accountability versus producing it to promote learning? And how can evaluators contribute to helping decision-makers learn from evidence?

Kathy’s slides:

Evaluation in today’s political, social and technological climate

Kathryn Newcomer is the Director of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University where she teaches graduate level courses on public and nonprofit program evaluation, and research design.  She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and currently serves on the Comptroller General’s Educators’ Advisory Panel. She served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) (2012-2015), and is currently AEA president. 2017.  She routinely conducts research and training for federal and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations on performance measurement and program evaluation, and has designed and conducted evaluations for many U.S. federal agencies and dozens of nonprofit organizations. Dr. Newcomer has published five books, including The Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation (4th edition 2015) and Transformational Leadership: Leading Change in Public and Nonprofit Agencies (June 2008), and edited a volume of New Directions for Public Program Evaluation, Using Performance Measurement to Improve Public and Nonprofit Programs (1997). She has also published over 60 articles in journals including the Public Administration Review and the American Journal of Evaluation. She served as President of the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) for 2006-2007. She has received two Fulbright awards, one for Taiwan (1993) and one for Egypt (2001-04). She has lectured on performance measurement and program evaluation in Ukraine, China, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Poland, Costa Rica, Egypt, Taiwan, Colombia, Honduras, Canada, Nicaragua, and the UK.