Hello fellow evaluation students!
One important and valuable way to learn about evaluation is to hear about other, seasoned evaluators and their perspectives on working in the field. This post is from Jasmina Fatic about her experience as an evaluator:
"Evaluation is so multifaceted in nature and the experiences of evaluators can be very diverse depending on the evaluators’ backgrounds and the environments in which they operate. For example, evaluators can operate internally within an organization or externally, providing a third party review. They may have a background in business, in a social science, or in a field such as education, communications, or economics.
I have been an evaluator for over six years and the profession has provided me with diversity, challenge, and reward at the same time. What I enjoy most about being an evaluator is the opportunity to work on challenging projects across many sectors and with diverse stakeholder groups. As an evaluator, I systematically investigate the quality and effectiveness of programs that range in scope and size, and I produce information for various audiences including senior government officials, decision makers, program managers and program users. These audiences utilize the evaluation findings in many different ways, including accountability, improvement, and learning.
Although I did not know much about program evaluation when I graduated from UBC, I was exposed to the area when I joined a small Vancouver-based management consulting firm in 2008. There, I gained a few years of experience with everything from proposal writing to framework development, analysis to reporting. I then joined a larger firm which was eager to expand its consulting practice. I am currently a Senior Consultant with MNP LLP’s Vancouver-based Advisory Services Practice. I have worked on numerous program evaluations in a range of areas spanning health care, tourism, education, forestry, Aboriginal, and social services. Through my project experience, I have developed the necessary evaluation competencies, such as:
· Preparing evaluation frameworks that outline evaluation criteria, questions and performance measures;
· Developing data collection tools, such as survey questionnaires and interview guides, to collect the necessary information about the programs/services being evaluated; and
· Analyzing data and triangulating findings from each source in order to identify emerging themes that provide meaningful information to decision-makers.
I am fortunate to work with a great team of professionals including economists, statisticians and business professionals whose expertise I can always count on. As an evaluator, one can become part of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) which promotes leadership, knowledge, advocacy and professional development. My involvement with the CES has enabled me to connect and share knowledge with fellow evaluators, and assist with the planning of workshops and conferences.
Being an evaluator is a highly rewarding occupation that always keeps things exciting! Those seeking to conduct systematic analyses, improve program performance, and work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders should consider a career in program evaluation.
Examples of some past evaluations conducted by MNP’s Advisory Services Practice are provided on the following websites:
Senior Consultant, Advisory Services, MNP LLP
T: 778 374 2111 E: email@example.com