Tracking Evaluation Capacity with Youth Professionals

Ben Silliman, Autumn Guin


A pilot program mentoring youth professionals through “learning-by-doing” projects yielded consistent increases in evaluation knowledge and skills over three years. Self-assessed skill improvements were greatest for preparatory processes (planning, focusing, design, selecting methods) and reporting competencies that are more often emphasized in organizational evaluation requirements. Smaller increases in data collection and analysis skills were also perceived by participating youth professionals. Focus groups with each of six evaluation “learning circle” groups revealed benefits of participation in the evaluation “learning circle,” as well as needs for evaluation training and tools, and challenges faced within the organizational culture.

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