Evaluation Capacity Case Challenge (EC³)

The Evaluation Capacity Case Challenge (EC3) is a new initiative dedicated to strengthening the evaluation capacity of institutions to foster and sustain high-quality evaluation practice. A real-world organization will present an evaluation capacity building (ECB) challenge to teams comprising the best and brightest minds from across the U.S. and Canada on April 28, 2023. These ECB teams will develop a plan to address the challenge and present it to a panel of esteemed judges on April 29, 2023.

What does the case challenge involve?

  • Cross-disciplinary engagement to arrive at creative solutions
    • The EC3 planning committee will solicit applications from current students (senior undergraduate, graduate, or professional) or recent graduates (graduated in the past 24 months) from any disciplinary concentration to take part in the case challenge.
    • Once selected, participants will be assigned to an interdisciplinary team that they will work with for all activities.
  • Training from leading experts on evaluation capacity building
    • Each team will be assigned a coach to provide them with tailored assistance as they hone their skills to prepare for the case challenge.
    • In early Spring 2023, teams will participate in up to six, 120-minute interactive, live-streamed training sessions with leading experts in the field of evaluation. These sessions will focus on delivering foundational material and insights on “hot” topics relevant to the forthcoming case. Each training session will be followed by a 30 minute “breakout” session where teams can discuss key concepts and questions with their coach.
    • Staff from the organization providing the case will also be invited to participate in these training sessions. The post-session breakout discussion with organizational staff will be facilitated by the lead of EC3 – Dr. Leslie Fierro.
  • An opportunity to apply newfound knowledge to a real-world case
    • The EC3 planning committee will solicit applications from organizations that wish to find ways to more effectively sustain, embed, or make use of insights that come from evaluations and are therefore interested in serving as the case for this challenge.
    • One week prior to the case challenge, teams will be informed of the case site and provided with a set of brief materials about the organization.
    • The case challenge event will take place on April 28 and 29, 2023. This will be a hybrid event – team members may elect to participate in person in Montreal or virtually. On the first day, teams will be provided with additional details about the case site, its evaluation context, and the specific challenge teams are to address. Teams will then have an opportunity to ask clarifying questions, followed by 24 hours to develop a proposal to address the challenge. On the second day, teams will deliver a brief presentation to a panel of esteemed judges who will select a winning team.
    • All participants will receive a stipend for engaging in the case challenge. The amount of the stipend will vary based upon whether the participant attends the case challenge event in person ($500 CAD) or online ($250 CAD).

What does the winning team…win?

  • Each member of the winning team will receive up to $1,000 CAD to support their registration and travel expenses to attend the Canadian Evaluation Society’s (CES) Annual Conference in Quebec City (June 19-21, 2023). One or more representatives of the winning team may be asked to present their work at the conference. For team members who are unable to attend, up to $500 will be provided to support further professional development in evaluation.

Apply to be a case site

Apply to be a participant

The Max Bell School of Public Policy’s Evaluation Capacity Case Challenge (EC3) is made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Sydney Duder with additional support from the Evaluation Capacity Network at the University of Alberta.


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