Evaluation for Specific Users and Specific Purposes: The Utilization Focused Evaluation

Greg Welch, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, MAP Academy
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2011-2012 Methodology Applications Series

Presentation 4

There are many approaches and techniques available in an evaluator’s tool box. The Utilization Focused Evaluation (UFE) focuses on the utility of the evaluation. The goal of this approach is commonly phrased as “intended use by intended users,” meaning that the focus becomes to involve all stakeholders in the evaluation process. This presentation will discuss the basic premises behind the UFE approach, along with the role of UFE in different types of evaluations and across evaluation settings. In addition to addressing the steps involved in implementing the UFE approach, this talk will cover the strengths and weaknesses of the UFE. The importance of establishing relationships with stakeholders and empowering stakeholders in the evaluation process will be discussed. The presentation will also examine situations in which the UFE approach is and is not warranted.

Greg Welch earned his doctorate in Research Methodology in Education from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. He currently serves as Research Assistant Professor for the CYFS Statistics and Research Methodology Unit. His research interests include structural equation modeling, latent curve analysis and educational policy.