Social Innovation

CES Toronto 2013 Presentation: Insights on Developmental Evaluator Roles during Innovation: A Case Study

I’m delighted to be speaking on this topic tomorrow at the CES Toronto 2013 conference, Tuesday, June 11, from 3:45-5:15, Main Mezzanine,  Tudor 7.

Title:  Insights on Developmental Evaluator Roles during Innovation: A Case Study

Abstract: Developmental evaluation (DE) supports social innovation and program development by guiding program adaptation to emergent and dynamic social realities (Patton, 2011; Preskill & Beer, 2012). To that end, the developmental evaluator is expected to draw on a multitude of skills and to take on multiple roles depending on the situational demands of the DE. Beyond that little guidance is provided in the literature to guide evaluation practice amidst the decidedly complex and turbulent space of social innovation.

This presentation explores the contextual demands made of the evaluator and the emergence of the different roles taken on by the developmental evaluator to enable social innovation in a case of DE. The ‘preformative development’ of this social innovation saw the integration of microblogging into teacher education. Analysis revealed four roles assumed by the developmental evaluator when innovating: a) evaluator, b) facilitator of learning, c) project manager, and d) innovation thinker.

Hope to see you there!


By Chi Yan Lam

Dr. Chi Yan Lam is a Credentialed Evaluator and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of evaluation at the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University; he is also a full-time evaluator practicing in public service. He specializes in evaluating large-scale, complex programs and incorporates multi-, mixed- and design methods in his evaluations to answer questions of importance to program administrators and policy makers working on educational and social programs. His articles on evaluation have been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Evaluation and the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation. He has been a holder of the professional designation in evaluation since 2014.

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