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Date and time: Wednesday 4th September 2019 12:30 - 1.30pm
Topic: How has the value-add of evaluation in public policy changed?
Presenter: Aaron Maher, Brianna Page, Nous Group
Venue: Community room at the Brisbane Square Library, 266 George St, Brisbane (Ground floor)
Register online by: Friday 30th August 2019

This is a free seminar organised by the QLD Regional Network Committee of the AES. Our monthly seminar series provides an opportunity for you to meet with AES members and others in Queensland 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 forward onto your networks.

Seminar overview

We are living in a world with more data than ever before. At the same time, the use of evaluation by policy makers and program managers is becoming increasingly commonplace; at times when policy makers are being asked to make evidenced-based decisions about what’s working and what isn’t.

What is the most valuable application of evaluation in the context of existing data? What could we need to do differently so that evaluations can be best used to make decisions?

The motivations for conducting an evaluation influence their ability to create impact. We - commissioners and evaluators - may need to be braver to move the practice of evaluation to be more strategic. This is likely to require a move toward greater understanding of the relative impact of programs and policies within their ecosystem, to truly inform decision making. This will influence evaluation methodologies, and require commissioners and policy makers to make strategic decisions about which evaluations to conduct, and what to do with the results.

This seminar will explore some of the issues in the current practice of evaluation, and highlight where and how evaluation can add the most value for policy making. 

Presenters background

Aaron brings 30 years’ experience in consulting, private and not-for-profit sector management roles. Aaron leads Nous’ Human Services Sector and Evaluation Services development. He has worked extensively in human services including aged care, disability, domestic and family violence, mental health, Indigenous Affairs, housing and employment. He is an expert evaluator, facilitator, and policy strategist. Aaron has an interest in new approaches to improve policy where he has worked on commissioning, sector capacity building and system redesign. Prior to Nous, Aaron held strategic marketing roles and managed a service supporting homeless youth.

Brianna has held policy development and program management roles in the federal government and overseen and contributed to multiple reviews and evaluations of Commonwealth-funded programs in international contexts. Brianna has extensive program evaluation and design experience, working most recently with Queensland Government departments and Queensland universities to understand and quantify program impact.


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