Evaluating to improve
the quality of public programs
Governments and other public organizations rely on evaluation to demonstrate the relevance and value of their programs and policies. However, many public organizations do not have the required capacity to produce quality evaluations and to use them to support decision-making and improve interventions.
The Canada Research Chair on Policy and Program Evaluation, held by Dr. Isabelle Bourgeois, seeks to better understand the individual and organizational factors that influence the production and use of quality evaluations. To this end, three lines of investigation are planned: the first set of studies will focus on measuring organizational evaluation capacity through the application of an online tool developed by Dr. Bourgeois. This diagnostic tool enables organizations to identify and implement evaluation capacity building strategies that are adapted to their current needs.
The second line of investigation focuses more broadly on evaluation utilization and how evaluation is used to support decision-making in public organizations.
The third set of studies will focus on the potential synergies between evaluation and other related functions, such as performance measurement and audit.
One of the most innovative aspects of the Chair will be LaboEval, a social innovation laboratory focusing on evaluation capacity building in non-profit organizations. The laboratory will match interested organizations with students who will support the non-profits as they design and implement various evaluation activities. The student participants will benefit from real-life evaluation experiences, while organizations will gain new knowledge, skills, and a helping hand in implementing their activities.
The research work conducted by the Chair and her team will contribute to the improvement of organizational decision-making processes while supporting organizational learning.
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