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Washington Evaluators Brown Bag
by Stephanie Shipman and Valerie Caracelli
The desire to improve federal government performance and accountability has led to calls to focus federal funds on approaches found effective through rigorous evaluation. While a randomized experiment is considered a highly rigorous approach for assessing the effectiveness of health and social service interventions, it is not the only rigorous method available and it is not always feasible. Stephanie Shipman and Valerie Caracelli will present the findings of their recent report (GAO-10-30) on what types of interventions are best suited to randomized experiments and what other rigorous approaches are available for assessing program effectiveness.
Dr. Stephanie Shipman is an Assistant Director of the Center for Evaluation Methods and Issues in the Applied Research and Methods Team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Over the past several years she has directed studies of federal agencies' performance measurement and program evaluation activities, and methods for solving analytic challenges in program performance assessment. She will speak to us about the GAO report released last November, Program Evaluation: A Variety of Rigorous Methods Can Help Identify Effective Interventions. Stephanie currently serves on the American Evaluation Association’s Evaluation Policy Task Force, and in 2008, received the Association’s Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Government Award for evaluation work that has been highly influential in government. Dr. Shipman is a founding member of and coordinator for the Federal Evaluators group, an informal network of evaluation officials.
Dr. Valerie Caracelli is a Senior Analyst in the Center for Evaluation Methods and Issues in the Applied Research and Methods Team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Valerie assisted Stephanie on this project and consults with GAO content area teams on evaluation design issues and assists teams in examining the quality of evaluation studies. Valerie recently served on the Board of the American Evaluation Association and is on the Board of the Washington Evaluators.