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Wednesday, September 18 • 11:30am - 12:30pm
Evaluation: What is the value in the box?

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Co-authors and moderators: Laurence Denholm (NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet), Anthea McClintock (NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet)

Panelists: Lyn Alderman (The Evaluators’ Collective), Geoff Gallop AC  (Emeritus Professor ANZSOG and Director, Graduate School of Government, University of Sydney, former Premier of Western Australia), Nicholas Gruen  (Lateral Economics), William Murphy (NSW Department of Customer Service), Simon Smith (Nous Group), Jonathan Wheaton (NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment)

Note: Audience participation (questions to panel and audience polling) by mobile phone, using sli.do. Please download the sli.do app from your app store or use the sli.do website.

Despite steady expansion in the scope and intensity of evaluation practice in government agencies throughout the OECD, criticism of evaluation continues amongst policy professionals and public administrators on the basis of cost and lack of timeliness in results. Emerging policy implementation practices such as "deliverology", which address alleged shortcomings in evaluation practice, now compete for the attention of policy and program managers, some who see evaluation as nothing more than a mandated compliance activity. Although evidence from evaluation can contribute to accountability and communications in established programs, the paramount value lies in application of evaluation results for long-term improvement of future policies and programs through evidence-based decision support. Improving the decision support value of evaluation will however require better tailoring of evaluation outputs to decision-makers' needs, addressing tensions between timeliness, objectivity and cost of results, and broadening the application of evaluation results through informed inference. Guided by an expert panel, this session will pursue a participatory approach to consensus on factors, real or perceived, that significantly constrain the adoption and hence the full potential of evaluation as a decision support tool. Participants and panel will propose and explore opportunities for mitigation of those constraints that are real and rebuttal of those that are not. It is expected that the ground between evaluation and "deliverology" will be especially fertile. Participation will provide practicing evaluators and those commissioning evaluation services with an opportunity to contribute to ongoing debate about the value of evaluation as a policy decision support tool. Importantly, participation will enable those interested in advocating for evaluation with a toolkit to rebut incorrect criticism and, as far as practicable, facilitate effective responses to valid criticism from those who are often the end-users of evaluation outputs. The session will guide more effective and more valuable application, design and reporting of evaluation.

Chairs
avatar for Ghislain Arbour

Ghislain Arbour

Senior Lecturer, The University of Melbourne
Ghislain Arbour is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Program Evaluation at the University of Melbourne in Australia.He has a hard time not talking about terminology in evaluation (see what happens if you ask about his dictionary project), the nature of evaluation theory and models... Read More →

Presenters
avatar for Laurence Denholm

Laurence Denholm

Principal Policy Analyst, Program Evaluation Unit, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet
Laurence Denholm BVSc(Hons) LLB(Hons) DipAgSc GradDipLegPrac PhD(Cornell) GAICD.https://au.linkedin.com/in/dr-laurence-denholm-gaicd-79217129 Dr Denholm has worked in public sector agencies since 1969, in Victoria, NSW, the Commonwealth and the United States. Following a career in... Read More →
avatar for Anthea McClintock

Anthea McClintock

Senior Manager Evaluation, NSW DPC
I lead the Program Evaluation Unit of Department of Premier and Cabinet. Our team is currently evaluating regional infrastructure programs funded by the NSW State Government. Prior to working with DPC, I worked for the Department of Primary Industries, ABARE and the Industry Commission... Read More →
avatar for Lyn Alderman

Lyn Alderman

Principal, The Evaluators' Collective
Lyn is passionate about evaluation as a discipline with deep work experience and research into strategy, evaluation theory and practice and the effectiveness of decision-making tools.
avatar for Geoff Gallop

Geoff Gallop

Emeritus Professor, University of Sydney
Premier of Western Australia 2001-2006. Director of the Graduate School of Government at Sydney University 2006-2015
avatar for Nicholas Gruen

Nicholas Gruen

CEO, Lateral Economics
Nicholas Gruen is a widely published policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator on our economy, society and innovation.He is CEO of Lateral Economics, Visiting Professor at Kings College London Policy Institute and Adjunct Professor at UTS Business School, Chair of Peach Financial... Read More →
avatar for William Murphy

William Murphy

A/Deputy Secretary - Customer, Delivery and Transformation, NSW Department of Customer Service
William Murphy’s role in the newly formed Department of Customer Service is to create a powerful, evidence-driven platform to drive transformation in the design, funding and delivery of government services. He brings together the Customer Service Commission, the Behavioural Insights... Read More →
avatar for Simon Smith

Simon Smith

Principal, Nous Group
Simon is a principal with Nous Group, an award winning Australian management consulting firm. Prior to consulting, Simon had 24 years’ experience in the NSW public sector, including as CEO and Secretary of the NSW Department of Industry, Chief Executive of the NSW Department of... Read More →
avatar for Jonathan Wheaton

Jonathan Wheaton

Director, Economic Programs, NSW Government - Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Jonathan has 15 years experience working across social and economic programs in the NSW Government, specialising in regional economic development. He is currently responsible for administering economic and community infrastructure funding programs totalling over $1.7 billion under... Read More →


Wednesday September 18, 2019 11:30am - 12:30pm AEST
Pyrmont Theatre