Competencies & Standards

The AEA Evaluator Competencies are a common language and set of criteria to clarify what it means to be included in the definition of evaluator. The competencies serve as a roadmap for guiding evaluator education and training and encourages critical self-reflection about the strengths and limitations of evaluators. The competencies identify ways to improve practice in the field. They reflect the services evaluators are called upon to perform in multiple contexts and recognize the interdependence and overlap of the domain.

Download the full AEA Evaluator Competencies Report. This brochure lists five AEA competency domains and specific competencies for each domain. 

1.0 DOMAIN PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

  • Focuses on what makes evaluators distinct as practicing professionals.
  • Professional practice is grounded in AEA’s foundational documents, including the Program Evaluation Standards, the AEA Guiding Principles, and the AEA Statement on Cultural Competence.

2.0 DOMAIN METHODOLOGY

  • Focuses on technical aspects of evidence-based, systematic inquiry for valued purposes.
  • Methodology includes quantitative, qualitative, and mixed designs for learning, understanding, decision making, and judging.

3.0 DOMAIN CONTEXT

  • Focuses on understanding the unique circumstances, multiple perspectives, and changing settings of evaluations and their users/stakeholders.
  • Context involves site/location/ environment, participants/stakeholders, organization/structure, culture/diversity, history/traditions, values/beliefs, politics/economics, power/privilege, and other characteristics.

4.0 DOMAIN PLANNING & MANAGEMENT

  • Focuses on determining and monitoring work plans, timelines, resources, and other components needed to complete and deliver an evaluation study.
  • Planning and management include networking, developing proposals, contracting, determining work assignments, monitoring progress, and fostering use.

5.0 DOMAIN INTERPERSONAL

  • Focuses on human relations and social interactions that ground evaluator effectiveness for professional practice throughout the evaluation.
  • Interpersonal skills include cultural competence, communication, facilitation, and conflict resolution.
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