May 30th, 2015

Panel Presentation at the 2015 Canadian Evaluation Society National Conference – Montreal, Quebec

Working in collaboration with colleagues from the Public Safety Canada and Corrections Services Canada, Celine Pinsent and Pierre Mercier participated on an interactive discussion panel for the Canadian Evaluation Society’s National Conference 2015 held in Montreal, Quebec.  The focus of the panel presentation was on outlining various perspectives on evaluation.  Celine Pinsent presented the perspective from an external evaluator hired as a private sector consultant.  Pierre Mercier presented the university and higher education perspective. 

Presentation abstracts included:

Evaluation contributing to positive transformations:  Perceptions of an external evaluator (Pinsent).

This portion of the presentation will outline five main “lessons learned” from an evaluation consultant who has worked as an external evaluator on over 100 evaluations for a diverse group of public sector clients primarily in the areas of social, cultural, and health programming and policies.   These “lessons” are based on the consultant’s observations of where and how evaluation work has had an impact on helping individuals, communities, managers and decision-makers to make positive transformations.  Various brief examples will be used throughout to demonstrate the “lessons”.

The influence and power of evaluation to build a better world: The case of Ontario universities’ Quality Assurance Framework (Mercier).

The mission of institutional research in higher education is to provide strategic information in support of planning, evaluation and accountability within and across institutions. As such, it plays a key role in supporting the evaluation of the university’s academic programs which, in turn, is offered to demonstrate quality to government agencies and, ultimately, the public at large. As an example, we will briefly describe the University of Ottawa process for cyclical program review under the self-imposed Ontario universities’ Quality Assurance Framework. We will examine the extent to which the review process does or does not bring about thoughtful reflection among the people responsible for the direct delivery of the programs, and continuous improvement or even program transformation. Next we will examine the extent to which the review process is underused by higher-level decision-makers as a tool for public accountability and policy guidance.

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