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Date and time: Tuesday 3rd March 2020. 6.00pm - 8.00pm
Discussion facilitated by: Kim Grey, Charles Darwin University, Tanja Porter, ACIL Allen and Samantha Mayes KPMG.
Venue: Polish White Eagle Club, 38 David Street, Turner ACT 2612
Register online by: 25 February 2020

This is a free event organised by the Canberra Regional Network Committee of the AES. Our regular events provides an opportunity for you to meet with AES members and others in Canberra and to share and learn from the experiences of fellow evaluators. Members are encouraged to bring along colleagues with an interest in the topic even if they are not yet members of the AES. Please pass this email onto your colleagues and networks.

Event Overview

In our third meeting of the reading group we will discuss the contribution of Professor Patricia Rogers – an internationally recognised Australian leader in theory-based evaluation, whose book ‘Purposeful Program Theory: Effective Use of Theories of Change and Logic Models’, written with Sue Funnell, has over 1300 citations on Google Scholar. The book is a seminal work in the development of guidance about how to use program theory and program logic. It is an invaluable reference for practicing evaluators and academics alike.

Patricia has written around 100 papers, including many journal articles, most of which can be accessed via your AES membership. Some of Patricia’s more highly cited articles cover complexity – examining the use of program theory to evaluate complicated and complex aspects of interventions; and some useful papers cover organisational capability – one, using the metaphor of teaching people to fish for building evaluation capability of public sector organizations, and another, covers evaluation for practice improvement and organizational learning with Bob Williams.

Program theory has been a topic revisited by Patricia over time. One reflecting on the words of Carol Weiss (who was the subject of our second reading group held in November 2019) is available online. It reflects on the role of this evaluation approach: Theory‐based evaluation: Reflections ten years on: Theory‐based evaluation: Past, present, and future

Among other things, Patricia has written on the value of Appreciative Inquiry, on the projected sustainability of innovative social programs, and a chapter in the book ‘Evaluation Roots: A Wider Perspective of Theorists’ Views and Influences’ with Jane Davidson. The latter adds a much-needed chapter to the second edition of this book about the roots of the field of evaluation, covering Australian and New Zealand evaluation theorists.

The above provides a snapshot of the work of Professor Rogers – in addition, you can read her own words about her professional motivations in the AES blog interview by Anthea Rutter –

For this reading group event, the selection of Patricia Rogers is motivated by her contribution to evaluation practice, exemplified through her leadership of the online resource On this excellent website you can find explanation of many key terms and methods used in evaluation, and many practical tips.

A post on BetterEvaluation is the focus of our first reading group for 2020.
This post shows exemplars of evaluation selected by Patricia, and provides reasons why they are useful as exemplars.

Please join us for a lively discussion in a collegial atmosphere. You can order food and drinks, and enjoy the wide range of polish dumplings while considering questions such as:

  • What examples do you consider to be exemplars of evaluation? How do you use examples in your practice?
  • What criteria do you think should be used in selecting exemplars to guide our practice? Do you agree with Patricia’s rational for selection? What would you add?

Online reference:
Patricia Rogers's blog,, 2015, Learning from exemplars of evaluation, 10th November 2015

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