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2015 HSR&D/QUERI National Conference Abstract

2005 — Essentials of Partnered Program Evaluation: Lessons from QUERI-funded Partnered Evaluation Centers (PECs)

Van Houtven C, Durham; Bokhour B, Bedford; Kabat M, CM/SWS, CO; LaVela S, Hines; Powell-Cope G, Tampa; Sales A, Ann Arbor; Sperber N, Durham;

Workshop Objectives:
To draw from experiences in partnered evaluation work to illustrate how researchers can conduct successful partnered evaluation projects in the VA. Participants will learn about factors that go into designing and executing a partnered evaluation project.

Partnered evaluation work is similar to traditional research in many ways, for example, with a need to describe a program or intervention; develop an evaluation strategy; gather credible evidence; and present findings clearly and with sensitivity analyses and transparent limitations sections. But, because partners have vested interest in the evaluation, for example, by contributing to project focus, it shifts the balance from the traditional investigator-initiated research setting, giving both researchers and operational partners additional responsibility. Engagement between researchers and stakeholders throughout all steps of the evaluation will likely result in evaluations that meet partners' priorities; are rigorous; and provide timely, actionable results. Representatives from 5 currently funded QUERI/Partnered Evaluation Centers will share on-the-ground experiences from their respective projects about how we have been navigating these dynamics to produce high quality results that our partners can use. Guided by CDC recommendations on essential steps for successful evaluations, the talks will focus on how the PECs developed approaches to focus evaluation design in line with partners' needs and to gather credible evidence in the face of real-world constraints. Speakers will describe what has worked well in various stages in this phase of their projects, from initial identification of partner priorities, development of evaluation projects and strategies to providing reports and presentations for partners to use. They will also describe challenges that they have faced and solutions that they have developed for meeting these challenges. Importantly, a program office representative will also give tips from her perspective on how to optimize partnerships among researchers and program office leaders within the VHA.

Target Audience:
VA HSRandD/QUERI researchers interested in learning more about partnered evaluation methods and experiences.

Assumed Audience Familiarity with Topic:
Some familiarity. Audience will be familiar with quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Most attendees will be researchers who focus on grant-funded work. Audience members may not have performed program evaluations work nor worked with Operational Partners in implementing their own research agendas.