Plenary Sessions

Designing the Profession of Evaluation: From Knowledge to Impact
Monday, June 27
8:00am - 9:00am

Speaker: John Gargani 

Evaluation is changing because the world is changing. Private capital is being leveraged to promote the public good on an unprecedented scale. The nonstop development of technology is changing how we impact and understand society. Innovation of every kind continuously resets our expectations about what is possible. How can we, the evaluation community, respond? I suggest that applying a design perspective may help us respond quickly, effectively, and to the benefit of all. It would also have a number of provocative consequences for evaluators, which I discuss and suggest are necessary.

John Gargani is the 2016 President of the American Evaluation Association. He is also President of Gargani + Company, Inc., a consulting company in Berkeley, California that has been helping organizations achieve their social missions for over 20 years.

Dr. Gargani and his staff work with organizations of every type—nonprofit, foundations, corporations, social enterprises, and government agencies—to design innovative solutions to social and environmental problems, and to evaluate their effectiveness and efficiency in rigorous ways.  

His work has taken him to diverse settings, including public housing projects, museums, countries adopting free market economies, and 19th century sailing ships. He teaches courses on social entrepreneurship, program design, and evaluation at Claremont Graduate University, where he also directs a research group developing new evaluation methods for impact investing, social enterprises, and pay-for-success funding mechanisms.  

Dr. Gargani holds three graduate degrees—a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied measurement and evaluation; an M.S. in Statistics from New York University’s Stern School of Business; and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.


Checklists for Improving Evaluation Practice
Tuesday, June 28
8:15am – 9:00am

Speaker: Lori Wingate

Checklists are used in a wide array of professions to minimize error and enhance quality. The World Health Organization’s Surgical Safety Checklist has increased patient safety and even saved lives, and  Checklists have been used in aviation since the 1930s with immeasurable contributions to flight safety. What can checklists do for your evaluation practice? This session will include an overview of the form and function of checklists, highlight evaluation checklists developed by some of the field’s leading practitioners, and share basic information on how to use these checklists to enhance day-to-day evaluation practice.

Lori Wingate is the Director of Research at The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University (WMU). She has a Ph.D. in interdisciplinary evaluation from WMU and 23 years of experience in the field of program evaluation. She directs EvaluATE, the evaluation resource center for the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program and has led a range of evaluation projects at WMU focused on STEM education, public health, and higher education initiatives. Since 2011, she has provided technical consultation as a subject matter expert in evaluation to the Center for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Wingate has led numerous webinars and workshops on evaluation in a variety of contexts and is an associate member of the graduate faculty at WMU.