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 AEA  Competencies
Revised April 5, 2018

Below are the AEA Evaluator Competencies in their entirity. You may also download the pdf version of the brochure. For more information abou the AEA Evaluator Competencies, you may view our Town Hall webinar. This session describes the development process, presents the competencies, and discusses potential next steps in AEA's continuing professionalization. 

1.0

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE DOMAINfocuses 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.  

The competent evaluator . . .

1.1

Acts ethically through evaluation practice that demonstrates integrity and respects people from different cultural backgrounds and indigenous groups.

1.2

Applies the foundational documents adopted by the American Evaluation Association that ground evaluation practice.

1.3

Selects evaluation approaches and theories appropriately.

1.4

Uses systematic evidence to make evaluative judgments.

1.5

Reflects on evaluation formally or informally to improve practice.

1.6

Identifies personal areas of professional competence and needs for growth.

1.7

Pursues ongoing professional development to deepen reflective practice, stay current, and build connections.

1.8

Identifies how evaluation practice can promote social justice and the public good.

1.9

Advocates for the field of evaluation and its value.

 

2.0

METHODOLOGY DOMAIN—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

The competent evaluator . . .

2.1

Identifies evaluation purposes and needs.

2.2

Determines evaluation questions.

2.3

Designs credible and feasible evaluations that address identified purposes and questions.

2.4

Determines and justifies appropriate methods to answer evaluation questions, e.g., quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods.

2.5

Identifies assumptions that underlie methodologies and program logic.

2.6

Conducts reviews of the literature when appropriate.

2.7

Identifies relevant sources of evidence and sampling procedures.

2.8

Involves stakeholders in designing, implementing, interpreting, and reporting evaluations as appropriate.

2.9

Uses program logic and program theory as appropriate.

2.10

Collects data using credible, feasible, and culturally appropriate procedures.

2.11

Analyzes data using credible, feasible, and culturally appropriate procedures. 

2.12

Identifies strengths and limitations of the evaluation design and methods.

2.13

Interprets findings/results in context.

2.14

Uses evidence and interpretationsonclusions, making judgments and recommendations when appropriate.

         

 

3.0

CONTEXT DOMAIN—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.

The competent evaluator . . .

3.1

Responds respectfully to the uniqueness of the evaluation context.

3.2

Engages a diverse range of users/stakeholders throughout the evaluation process. 

3.3

Describes the program, including its basic purpose, components, and its functioning in broader contexts.

3.4

Attends to systems issues within the context.

3.5

Communicates evaluation processes and results in timely, appropriate, and effective ways.

3.6

Facilitates shared understanding of the program and its evaluation with stakeholders.

3.7

Clarifies diverse perspectives, stakeholder interests, and cultural assumptions.

3.8

Promotes evaluation use and influence in context.

 

4.0

PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT DOMAIN—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.

The competent evaluator . . .

4.1

Negotiates and manages a feasible evaluation plan, budget, resources, and timeline.

4.2

Addresses aspects of culture in planning and managing evaluations.

4.3

Manages and safeguards evaluation data.

4.4

Plans for evaluation use and influence.

4.5

Coordinates and supervises evaluation processes and products.

4.6

Documents evaluation processes and products.

4.7

Teams with others when appropriate.

4.8

Monitors evaluation progress and quality and makes adjustments when appropriate.

4.9

Works with stakeholders to build evaluation capacity when appropriate.

4.10

Uses technology appropriately to support and manage the evaluation. 

 

5.0

INTERPERSONAL DOMAIN—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.

The competent evaluator . . .

5.1

Fosters positive relationships for professional practice and evaluation use.

5.2

Listens to understand and engage different perspectives.

5.3

Facilitates shared decision making for evaluation.

5.4

Builds trust throughout the evaluation.

5.5

Attends to the ways power and privilege affect evaluation practice.

5.6

Communicates in meaningful ways that enhance the effectiveness of the evaluation.

5.7

Facilitates constructive and culturally responsive interaction throughout the evaluation.

5.8

Manages conflicts constructively.

History and Creation of the AEA Evaluator Competencies

In 2015 the AEA Board of Directors appointed a Task Force to develop a set of evaluator competencies for the association.

The members of the Task Force are listed here: Jean King, Sandra Ayoo, Eric Barela, Gail Barrington, Dale Berger, Nicole Galport, Michelle Gensinger, John LaVelle, Robin Miller, Donna Podems, Anna Rodell, Laurie Stevahn, Hazel Symonette, Susan Tucker, Elizabeth Wilcox 

The membership of the American Evaluation Association has previously endorsed three documents that have contributed to the professionalization of our field:

●       The Joint Committee’s Program Evaluation Standards, currently in their 3rd edition (2011, http://www.jcsee.org/program- evaluation-standards-statements)

●       AEA’s Guiding Principles for Evaluators (revised in 2018, http://eval.org)

●       AEA’s Cultural Competence Statement (2011, http://eval.org)

Working over the course of the spring and summer 2017, the Task Force reviewed existing sets of general and subject-specific competencies for program, policy, and personnel evaluation to identify foundational competencies necessary to the diverse evaluation practice of AEA members. In addition, the Task Force developed and implemented a plan to engage member feedback. At the 2015 AEA annual meeting in Chicago, the Task Force held a lively listening session and a day-long meeting to process people’s input on the initial draft. As a result, we revised the draft competencies early in 2016.