Friday, November 20, 2015 – Evaluation Capacity Building with Ben Silliman

The Research Triangle Park Evaluators’ (RTPE) next meeting will be held on Friday, November 20, 2015 at The Frontier (800 Park Offices Drive, Durham, NC 27703) beginning at 11 am. Meeting Agenda:

11:00am – 11:10am         Announcements and Introduction
11:10am – 12:00pm        Evaluation Capacity Building: Lessons Learned
12:00pm – 1:00pm          Optional networking lunch (snacks and drinks provided; bring your lunch or purchase from the Food Truck Rodeo)

About the Presentation: Evaluation Capacity Building: Lessons Learned

This year’s theme for RTPE has been Evaluation Capacity Building. In the final meeting of the season, Ben will share experiences with and study results from two recent evaluation capacity building projects. In 2009, Ben helped found the eXtension (online Cooperative Extension network) Evaluation Community of Practice. In 2014 he led an eXtension qualitative study with 40 community-based Extension staff identified by peers as evaluation champions. Ben will share the themes from this work and focus on how to apply the lessons learned through these kinds of projects to other evaluation efforts.

About the Presenter: Ben Silliman

Ben Silliman, Professor and Extension Specialist at North Carolina State University, is another evaluator ‘kidnapped’ from another field. He received his PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Kansas State University, and taught for six years at Louisiana Tech University before beginning his career with Extension at the University of Wyoming. He continued work in youth development with 4-H at NC State in 2001. In the process of helping 4-H agents plan and evaluate programs in youth development statewide and nationally, he began evaluating, then building evaluation capacity.


If you haven’t paid dues for 2015, please be prepared to fill out a membership form and provide payment at the meeting.

August 21, 2015 – Collaborative Evaluation with Rita O’Sullivan

About the Presentation: Collaborative Evaluation
Dr. Rita O’Sullivan will introduce collaborative evaluation as an approach in the context of other evaluation options and then contrast it with other stakeholder-based approaches (i.e., Empowerment, Participatory, and Utilization-Focused).  She will share specific collaborative evaluation strategies and then using an example show how collaborative evaluation can promote capacity building.

Rita will engage participants in a discussion of the merits and disadvantages of collaborative evaluation. Her presentation will last approximately 25 minutes followed by engaged discussion and Q&A with the audience.

About the Presenter: Dr. Rita O’Sullivan
Dr. Rita O’Sullivan is Associate Professor of Evaluation and Assessment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she teaches graduate courses in Educational Program Evaluation, Case Study Methods, Research Design, Measurement, and Statistics.  She also is Director of Evaluation, Assessment, and Policy Connections (EvAP), a unit she founded within the UNC School of Education that conducts local, state, national, and international evaluations.  Dr. O’Sullivan specializes in developing collaborative evaluation techniques that enhance evaluation capacity and utilization among educators and public service providers.  She has successfully used collaborative evaluation approaches with museum, education, community development, and family support programs in North Carolina, non-profit organizations in the southeastern states, as well as national program initiatives in education and community development.  She authored Practicing Evaluation:  A Collaborative Approach (Sage, 2004) and is senior author of Programs for At-Risk Student: A Guide to Evaluation (Corwin Press, 1993). Dr. O’Sullivan has traveled to Kazakhstan, Russia, Brazil, Guinea, Southern Sudan, Uganda, Barbados, Puerto Rico, Thailand, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to make presentations and conduct evaluation trainings.  In addition to her scholarly contributions to the field of evaluation via articles and presentations, Dr. O’Sullivan served as Director of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Graduate Education Diversity Internship Program (2010-12) and AEA Secretary/Treasurer from 1992-1997. In 2001 she was presented the first lifetime Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina Association for Research in Education, and in 2002 received the Ingle Service award from the American Evaluation Association.

February 12, 2015 – Evaluation Capacity Building with Sally Bond

About the Presentation: Evaluation Capacity Building: An Overview and Discussion of Strategies
Sally L. Bond, President of The Program Evaluation Group, LLC, will provide an overview of what is meant by “evaluation capacity building,” review recent developments in the evaluation literature, and lead a discussion of members’ opportunities to build the capacity of their clients to conduct or use evaluation.

About the Presenter: Sally L. Bond
Sally L. Bond is an independent consultant with more than 25 years of experience in program evaluation.  Her company, The Program Evaluation Group, is a network of consultants that specializes in the evaluation of education and other social programs.  Beginning with the publication of Taking Stock: A Practical Guide to Evaluation Your Own Programs in 1997 (available at, she has provided evaluation capacity building (ECB) services to a variety of clients, primarily in educational institutions and other non-profit, community-based organizations.

Sally earned a Master’s in Sociology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1998 and is currently working on a doctorate in Workforce and Human Resource Education at NC State University.  For her dissertation research, she is especially interested in studying the transfer of training from ECB activities to clients’ work contexts.

In addition to being the founding president of RTP Evaluators, Sally is also Program Co-Chair of AEA’s Organizational Learning and Evaluation Capacity Building Topical Interest Group (TIG) and Program Chair of the Theories of Evaluation TIG.