Influencing the quality and utilisation of evaluation research could create significant and positive impact in the public sector.
Evaluation is here to stay
The need for accountability of public funds gives rise to evaluation programmes and it is difficult to see a future where evaluation is no longer deemed necessary. Therefore, evaluation, as a research area, has longevity. With this brings the further need for research that supports Evaluators to adapt to (and perform highly in) the changing landscape they find themselves in.
Evaluation data is (often but not always – aah the evaluation utilisation debate!) used to support decision making. Optimal evaluation practice, identified and developed through this research will therefore ensure that robust decisions are made. Evaluation, through its results, has the potential to change how initiatives in various sectors are delivered in the future. Evaluation shapes the research and investment decisions of public organisations, and private corporations by providing a convincing evidence base on which to decide.
Evaluation is everywhere
Evaluation is practised internationally. Therefore evaluation practice research has potential for significant international reach.
Meta-Evaluative Research Gaps
A sizeable body of evaluation and meta-evaluation literature exists, yet the development of the Evaluator role has largely remained untouched. Through prior PhD research and an ethnographic study a host of challenges to evaluation practice have been previously identified, a promising foundation on which to build and which confirms further is needed by the evaluation-practiitoner community.