Evaluation capacity building—Results and reflections across two years of a multisite empowerment evaluation in an HIV prevention context

Peter T. Lindeman*, Emily Bettin, Lauren B. Beach, Christian N. Adames, Amy Kristen Johnson, Dave Kern, Patrick Stonehouse, George J Greene, Gregory Lee Phillips ii

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


As the need for rigorous evidence of program efficacy increases, integrating evaluation activities into program implementation is becoming crucial. As a result, external evaluators are placing increased focus on evaluation capacity building as a practice. However, empirical evidence of how to foster evaluation capacity in different contexts remains limited. This study presents findings from an evaluation capacity survey conducted within a multisite Empowerment Evaluation initiative, in which an external evaluator worked with 20 project teams at diverse community agencies implementing HIV prevention projects. Survey results revealed representatives from project teams (n = 33) reported significantly higher overall evaluation capacity after engaging with the external evaluator on planning and implementing their evaluation. Improvements differed across organization type, intervention type, staff position, and reported engagement on various activities throughout the course of the evaluation. Results indicated empowerment evaluation and other stakeholder-focused evaluation approaches are broadly applicable when evaluation capacity building is a desired outcome, particularly when able to engage project staff in the planning of the evaluation and in delivering technical assistance services. Accordingly, efforts should be made by program funders, staff, and evaluators to encourage active engagement starting in the early stages of program and evaluation planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-88
Number of pages6
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • Community engagement
  • Empowerment Evaluation
  • Evaluation capacity building
  • Evaluation planning
  • Multisite evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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