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* This workshop is full. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Date and time: Tuesday 30th April 2019, 9am to 4:30pm (registration from 8.30am)
Location: Perth CBD
Presenter: Dr John Owen and Dr Rick Cummings
Register online by: 23 April 2019
Fees: AES individual Members $440.00 Non-members $605. If you are an IPAA member, register by clicking here.

This new workshop is offered in partnership with Institute for Public Administration Australia WA (IPAA WA)

Workshop Overview

This workshop is based on the assumption that the use of timely relevant evidence is a means to improve decision-making in organisations. This requires the creation of a mind-set among organisational managers that encourages a culture of enquiry in which existing structures and procedures are laid open to review. A means by which this can be achieved is to commit to the use of Evaluative Thinking (ET).

The topic of ET has been of increasing interest the literature . It’s link to organizational performance is currently of substantial interest in Western Australia as it is a strong theme throughout the state government’s recently updated Evaluation Guide, that sets out an approach to the evaluation of government programs. This workshop will enable participants to enhance their understanding of the practice of evaluative thinking and its potential to improve organizational performance within the framework of the Evaluation Guide.

The workshop will use the following definitions of Evaluative Thinking (ET)

  • critical thinking applied to evaluation practice that is motivated by a belief in the value of evidence, that involves posing thoughtful questions, to pursue deeper understandings, and for informing decisions in preparation for action.
  • an ongoing process of questioning, learning, reflecting and modifying. It allows us to define what we want to learn, determine the means by which lessons can be learnt, and to apply them to improve organizational performance. ET is learning for change.

This workshop is based on a set of exercises designed to assist participants to address practical issues related to the use of evaluative thinking. These exercises will enable participants to explore how the use of ET is consistent with key evaluation resources such as the Evaluation Guide produced by the WA Treasury.

Course Outcomes

This workshop is designed to enable participants to:

  • understand the key elements of evaluative thinking
  • be able to apply evaluative thinking to policy and program development and implementation
  • be aware of strategies and techniques for evaluative thinking to build evaluative capacity to enhance resilience in government agencies

This workshop aligns with competencies in the AES Evaluator’s Professional Learning Competency Framework. The identified domains are:

Domain 1 – Evaluative attitude and professional practice
Domain 2 – Evaluation theory
Domain 5 – Project management
Domain 7 – Evaluation Activities

Who should attend

The workshop is intended for program managers and evaluators in the WA public sector who have an interest in improving program management and evaluation.  Prior experience in program evaluation is not required.

About the facilitators

John Owen is Principal Fellow in the Centre for Program Evaluation at The University of Melbourne. He is interested in providing useful evaluation based knowledge to policy and program decision makers. He is a regular contributor to journals and at international evaluation conferences in Australia and overseas. His book: Program Evaluation: Forms and Approaches provides an integrated framework to evaluation theory and practice. He is a foundation Fellow of the AES.

Rick Cummings is an Emeritus Professor in the Sir Walter Murdoch Graduate School of Public Policy and International Affairs at Murdoch University. Rick has over 30 years experience leading program and policy evaluations, conducting workshops in evaluation theory and practice, and currently teaches public policy research and evaluation at the Sir Walter Murdoch Graduate School. Rick is a past President of the Australian Evaluation Society and was made a Fellow of the Society in 2013.


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