Main Article Content
Background: Research on the role and effects of evaluation policy is limited. Some research on the policy’s role in enhancing organizational evaluation capacity (EC) is beginning to accrue but to date it has been limited largely to global Western evaluation contexts.
Purpose: We employed an ecological conceptual framework arising from our own empirical research to explore the interface between evaluation policy and EC in non-western contexts. We asked—To what extent does this framework resonate across these contexts? In the selected non-Western context, what are the salient variables moderating the relationship between policy and EC in the selected contexts? Are there differences across countries?
Setting: The present research is focused on perceptions about evaluation culture and experiences in two countries situated in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, namely Turkey and Jordan.
Intervention: Not applicable.
Research design: We conducted focus groups within the respective countries with a combined total of 18 participants associated with country-level voluntary organizations for professional evaluation (VOPE). Participants worked in government, non-governmental aid agencies, universities and private sector organizations.
Data collection and analysis: We introduced the focus group participants to our ecological framework and then guided the conversation using semi-structured questions. Data were audio-recorded, transcribed and subsequently thematically analyzed using NVivo.
Findings: The ecological framework was found to resonate well but the findings were weighted heavily toward macro-level contextual variables. Even though important contextual and cultural differences between Turkey and Jordan were evident, leadership emerged as a significant meso-level moderating variable in both settings. The discussion of the results included implications for ongoing research.
Keywords: Evaluation capacity building; evaluation policy; program evaluation; cultural context
Copyright 2016 Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, Western Michigan University.