The dusty shelf report: The best way to keep evaluation results far, far, away from decision-making

After spending the past couple years as an internal evaluator, I decided to start addressing other internal evaluators’ questions, comments, and concerns. I’ll be sharing their questions on my blog, connecting them to other evaluators, and offering advice from my own experiences with internal evaluation.

Here’s a question from Jonathan O’Reilly, my friend from the Washington Evaluators. Jonathan recently accepted an internal evaluation position with the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County in Maryland. He writes:

“I’d like to know more about internal evaluators’ experience with translating research to practice. My experience as an external evaluator witnessed the final report being the absolute end product – whether or not the client used the recommendations or had working groups around the evaluation report were beyond our involvement. In my new position, I am more optimistic about my evaluation findings being used to effect change. As an internal evaluator my vision is to call together a working group to present evaluation findings and start the conversation about modifying procedures where necessary. What has your experience as an internal evaluator been with getting research findings to be a key part of administrative decision-making?”

Do you have any advice for this internal evaluator? Please share the good karma below.

Thanks, Ann Emery