Evaluation as an integrated management tool: embedding an evaluator into a program

Liam Downing, Susan Rogan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    In 2013, Charles Sturt University submitted a successful proposal for a $4.4 million, two-year program called Future Moves. The program aimed to raise aspirations for university study among primary and secondary school students. The Manager of Pre-Entry Programs and the Director of Academic Success at Charles Sturt University made the decision to create a dedicated evaluation position within the program - a first for the university. The 'embedded evaluator' position differs from an external evaluator (as an independent, external observer) and an internal evaluator (who is typically also responsible for aspects of program management). The article demonstrates that this role has the ability to contribute greatly to knowledge of programs and the ability of program managers to make informed, evidence-based decisions in close to real time. While it could be argued that embedded evaluators are biased, the article outlines ways in which this has been addressed. The experience of the Future Moves evaluation and management team (referred to throughout the article) serves as a compelling case study of the advantages and the potential pitfalls of embedded evaluation, whilst providing program managers, funders and evaluators with valuable insight into how similar programs could be evaluated.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4-14
    Number of pages11
    JournalEvaluation Journal of Australasia
    Volume16
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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