Competitive champions versus cooperative advocates Understanding advocates for evaluation

Main Article Content

Alison Frances Rogers
Amy M Gullickson, Associate Professor
Jean A King, Professor Emerita
Elizabeth McKinley, Professor



Background: Evaluation offers non-profit organizations an opportunity to improve their services, demonstrate achievements, and be accountable. The extant literature identifies individuals who can enhance the uptake of evaluation as evaluation champions. However, a paucity of detail is available regarding how to identify them and the support they require.

Purpose: This research investigated the characteristics and motivations of evaluation champions and examined how they promoted and embedded evaluation in an organizational system.

Setting: Australian human and social service non-profit organizations.

Research design: Drawing upon the literature and social interdependence theory, the research took an interpretivist perspective to collaboratively generate knowledge about evaluation champions. The aim was to understand and develop a reconstruction of the characteristics of individuals. This article constitutes a component of a larger research project.

Data Collection and Analysis: This research used purposive sampling to recruit champions working in Australian non-profit organizations, who were identified via descriptive criteria gleaned from a literature review. The research involved interviewing 17 champions, four of whom also participated in organizational case studies. Analysis of the semi-structured interviews and case studies generated information about the activities, strategies, motivations, and attributes of individuals who championed and advocated for evaluation.

Findings: This article argues that evaluation advocates is a preferable descriptor when attempting to embed evaluation by cultivating mutually beneficial interactions and cooperative working relationships. This research defines evaluation advocates as individuals who motivate others and provide energy, interest, and enthusiasm by connecting evaluation with colleagues’ personal aspirations and the organizational goals to make judgements about effectiveness. This article includes a field guide to facilitate evaluation advocates’ identification, recruitment, support, and development.


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How to Cite
Rogers, A. F., Gullickson, A. M., King, J. A., & McKinley, E. (2022). Competitive champions versus cooperative advocates: Understanding advocates for evaluation. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 18(42).


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