With pleasure I introduce the Program Evaluation Series, an occasional publication of the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI), which has its home in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) at the University of Minnesota. Owing to the lengthy history of its evaluation training programs (extending back to the late 1960s when the field originated), the University of Minnesota has a strong reputation for evaluation, both nationally and internationally. For over two decades, MESI has sponsored exceptional professional development on program evaluation* and provided graduate students hands-on opportunities to hone their skills on evaluation projects in a variety of organizations. This new endeavor, the Program Evaluation Series, seeks to broaden the number of people who can benefit from MESI activities by providing high quality, up-to-date, and affordable materials on critical developments in the field.
Why now? There are three reasons we are launching the e-book series at
- As the field of evaluation continues to grow around the world, it increasingly relies on on-line electronic materials to keep people current. The benefit of a series of e-books is clear since these books can be downloaded and re-produced for only the cost of the printing or formally printed for a nominal fee.
- The practice of program evaluation is a growing activity internationally, and the number of novice evaluators and people conducting evaluations who do not consider themselves professional evaluators is expanding. Knowing that only a small number of colleagues nationally and globally are able to attend trainings in person, this series of e-books will enable MESI to provide useful materials to a broader array of individuals engaged in the field.
- An e-book series provides a vehicle for dispersing innovative evaluation content stemming both from academic settings like universities and, equally important, from the world of practice, including the multiple communities in which evaluators ply their trade. Practicing evaluators, many of whom write weekly or monthly blogs, routinely develop materials that they would like to share widely. The Program Evaluation Series provides a mechanism for such dissemination.
We hope you find this publication of value to your evaluation practice and sincerely invite your feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org) and suggestions for additional volumes.
Jean A. King, PhD