Evaluation Capacity Network

Project Director: Rebecca Gokiert
Funding: SSHRC
Duration: 2014 to Ongoing

Visit our project website: www.evaluationcapacitynetwork.com

Project Overview:

The goal of the Evaluation Capacity Network (ECN) is to collaboratively develop community-driven and culturally relevant approaches for producing and using evidence to improve early childhood practice, programs, and policy towards system effectiveness.

Our objectives are to:

  1. Deepen understanding through engagement to ensure that evaluations are community-driven and culturally relevant
  2. Co-create and implement research and evaluation that is mutually beneficial to all ECN partners
  3. Develop an Evaluation Hub that will connect people to evaluation resources, learning, and support to mobilize knowledge and build evaluation capacity in the early childhood field

To achieve these, the ECN will enhance dialogue and knowledge mobilization among community agencies and organizations that deliver ECD programming, funders that influence evaluation of programs for children and families across Canada, government partners that impact ECD program funding, policy development and service delivery, and academics/ academic institutions that train future evaluators and support community agencies with evaluation. In doing so, the ECN serves as a central space where students, researchers, government, and community organizations can share and access evaluation expertise, resources, educational opportunities, and networks.

Strong relationships are required to support this type of intersectoral dialogue and capacity building and we are fortunate to work closely with the following collaborators/partners:

  • Alberta Culture and Tourism (Government of Alberta)
  • Alberta Innovates
  • Boys & Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Bow Valley College
  • Centre for Community Based Research
  • Canadian Evaluation Society
  • Claremont Graduate University
  • Consortium of Universities for Evaluation Education
  • Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations
  • Edmonton Community Foundation
  • Healthy Child Manitoba Office (Government of Manitoba)
  • Lakehead University
  • McMaster University (Offord Centre for Child Studies)
  • MEHRIT Centre
  • Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative
  • Muttart Foundation
  • PolicyWise for Children & Families
  • Queen’s University
  • Terra Centre
  • United Way of the Alberta Capital Region
  • University of Alberta (Faculties of Extension and Pharmacy, Departments of Educational Psychology and Elementary Education, School of Public Health, and Kule Institute for Advanced Studies)
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Victoria
  • Women & Children's Health Research Institute

While originating from conversations related to early child development, expanding networks and intersecting relationships within the ECN have since led to a broader reach across the social sector. Current evaluation building capacity projects being run under, or in collaboration with, the ECN include: (i) UEval, a one-week evaluation institute based on a model of experiential co-learning; (ii) Eval4Refugee, a project to build evaluation capacity in the refugee-serving sector across Canada; and (iii) EvalLab, a co-learning space for non-profit leaders to explore, test, and adapt evaluation-based concepts in ‘real-life’ settings.

Related Stories:
Evaluation Capacity: A Critical Tool for Social Innovation - highlighted in the Faculty of Extension Research Report 2019, page 10