Tuesday, May 28 • 08:00 - 09:45

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This international panel will provide recent empirical evidence on the nature and use of theory in evaluation then suggest some key principles and practices for the use of theory in modern contexts. First, Lemire will illustrate three common cognitive biases, which, if left unchallenged, may unduly frame and shape our program theorizing. He will then show the use of structured analytical techniques to counter cognitive biases in the design and implementation of theory-based evaluation.

Next, Koleros and Mayne will show the conceptual and technical use of theory based evaluation via nested actor-based theories of change. They argue that a contribution claim is only as strong as the theory of change being used and will show the development of a nested and actor-based theory of change as a means to deal with high complexity in conducting contribution analysis.

Montague will then argue that systematic coding and analysis of change theories, action theories, and their combinations in programs can produce useful insights for both evaluation and public-policy decision making.

In summary, the panel will explain what has been called next generation theory based, or fifth generation evaluation. This combines theory-based approaches to determine logical consistency and likely impact with explanatory features surrounding program mechanisms. The focus is on both learning for improvement as well as rendering a normative judgement on contribution and impact. This session should be of interest to evaluation veterans and newcomers alike since it will explain and explore some of the fundamentals of theory based evaluation in new applications.

avatar for Andrew Koleros

Andrew Koleros

Mathematica Policy Research
Andrew Koleros is a Researcher at Mathematica Policy Research in Cambridge, MA. He has over fifteen years of experience leading internal and external monitoring, evaluation and learning initiatives for development programmes, including external independent impact evaluations of large-scale... Read More →
avatar for John Mayne

John Mayne

Dr. Mayne is an independent advisor on public sector performance. Over the last 15 years he has focused on international development evaluation and RBM. He has authored numerous articles and reports, including several on contribution analysis, and co-edited eight books on program... Read More →
avatar for Sebastian Lemire

Sebastian Lemire

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Sebastian brings 15 years of experience designing and managing evaluation projects for public and private sector organizations. His over 60 evaluation and applied studies cover the fields of education, market development, and social welfare. Before earning his PhD in Social Research... Read More →
avatar for Steve Montague

Steve Montague

Partner, Performance Management Network
Steve Montague is President of Performance Management Network, co-founder and three times president of the Not-For-Profit Performance and Planning Exchange. He is a fellow of the Canadian Evaluation Society and an adjunct professor at Carleton University with over 35 years of experience... Read More →

avatar for Larry Bremner

Larry Bremner

Proactive Information Services Inc.
Mr. Bremner (Métis) has worked in research and evaluation for approximately 35 years. In 1984 he established Proactive to provide social research services to the not-for-profit and public sectors. He is the 2018 CES Service Award winner, past CES President (2012-2104), Founder of... Read More →

Tuesday May 28, 2019 08:00 - 09:45
K'jipuktuk A - Conference Level

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