September 10, 2013

Evaluation and accountability

Last month at the 2013 AAEA Annual Conference, I was one of three presenters in a concurrent session on "Creating and Documenting Extension Programs with Public Value-Level Impacts." I learned a lot from both of my co-presenters, but here are just two quick ideas I took away from the session:

From Jo Ann Warner of the Western Center for Risk Management Education: As a funder, the WCRME demands evaluation plans--and ultimately results--from grant applicants. But the Center itself is accountable to its own funders, who demand that the Center demonstrate the effectiveness of the programs they have funded. So generally, grant applicants should keep in mind to whom the granting agency is accountable and provide the kind of results that will help the agency demonstrate effectiveness.

From Kynda Curtis of Utah State University: Intimidated about evaluating the effectiveness of your extension program? Don't be! It's not as hard as you think it is, won't take as much additional time as you think it will, and costs less than you expect. No excuses!

September 3, 2013

Critical conversation about public value

NL_logo_square.jpgListen in on a thought-provoking conversation about "The role of evaluation in determining the public value of Extension" with this eXtension Network Literacy Critical Conversation video. Participants are Nancy Franz (Iowa State University), Mary Arnold (Oregon State University), and Sarah Baughman (Virginia Tech), and the host is Bob Bertsch (North Dakota State University).

The participants make a number of interesting points about where Extension program evaluation has been and is headed. Several of my own take-aways from the video influenced my recent presentations at the 2013 AAEA Annual conference and the APLU meeting on Measuring Excellence in Extension. I've paraphrased three of those insights below.

==Nancy Franz: Extension should work toward changing the unit of program evaluation analysis from the individual to the system.

==Mary Arnold: Extension is still too often limiting evaluation to private value and isolated efforts. We need to move closer to systems-level evaluation.

==Sarah Baughman: We need to do more program evaluation for program improvement, not only evaluation for accountability.

October 9, 2009

2009 Agricultural and Applied Economics Association Award

Earlier this summer at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, I was very pleased and honored to receive the Association's Award for Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program for an Individual, Less than Ten Years Experience. You can read about how the award recognizes the Building Extension's Public Value Program here.

Distinguished Extension-Kalambokidis.jpg
(Photo: AAEA President Richard E. Just and Laura Kalambokidis at the 2009 AAEA Annual Conference)