(59) Beyond the Basics of Program Design: A Theory-Driven Approach (October 20, 2013: 9am-12pm)

Session Number: 59
Track: Workshops
Session Type: Post Conference
Primary Presenter: John A Gargani
Additional Presenter: Stewart Donaldson
Time: Oct 20, 2013 (09:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
Room: Georgetown

Schedule: Half Day, Sunday 9-12
Level: Intermediate
Speakers: Lauren


A strong program design is critical to the success of social, health, educational, organizational and other programs. Consequently, evaluators with strong design skills can improve a program’s chances of success and the quality of their evaluations by taking an active part in the design process.

Building on the popular beginner workshop “Basics of Program Design,” this hands-on workshop will help you take your program design skills to the next level. You will learn how to work more effectively with stakeholders in collaborative settings, and how that can yield stronger, more useful evaluations. Mini-lectures interspersed with small-group activities will help you apply and understand the concepts presented. Examples from evaluation practice will be provided to illustrate main points and key take-home messages, and you will receive a handout of further resources.

You will learn:

  • How to develop, refine and integrate all the elements of a program design from a theory-driven evaluation perspective;
  • How to ensure that stakeholder values are embedded in the program;
  • How to connect program activities with program purposes in a detailed, comprehensive way;
  • How to use a program design to craft comprehensive monitoring and evaluation systems;
  • How to identify roles evaluators can play in a collaborative design process;
  • How to describe and address the common challenges, professional and ethical issues involved with evaluators designing or improving programs.

John Gargani has helped a wide variety of clients design and evaluate programs for 20 years. Current program design projects include working with a statewide agency to develop a radically new approach to K-12 history instruction in California; working with a community-based organization to design a program in which adolescents develop positive social interactions by building wooden boats using traditional methods; and working with researchers to design new technologies that can help professionals improve group cognition, decision making and consensus. Stewart Donaldson has taught graduate courses on Evaluation Theory and Evaluation Practice, Theory-Driven Evaluation Science, Organization Development and Change, Directed Research in Evaluation and Directed Research in Positive Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior. He also provides distance education courses and professional development workshops in a variety of university and professional venues on topics including Basics of Evaluation and Applied Research, Practical Program Evaluation, What Counts as Credible Evidence in Applied Research and Evaluation, Evaluation Theory, Evaluation Practicum and Advanced Applications of Program Theory.

Session 59: Program Design
Prerequisite: The introductory workshop "Basics of Program Design"

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