Aimed as a US audience, Practical Evaluation for Conservation Education and Outreach: Assessing Impacts & Enhancing Effectiveness presents a simple approach to using evaluation to design, monitor and assess education and outreach. It is for anyone whose organization or work involves creating educational programs designed to raise conservation awareness and promote pro-conservation behaviours.
Even more than a how-to book, it can help you to build your organization’s capacity to conduct meaningful, comprehensive evaluations. The book’s purpose is to provide specific skills and knowledge that they can immediately put to use in conducting evaluation studies of conservation education programs.
The reader will build an understanding that:
- Evaluation yields useful information
- Evaluation should be a part of a program’s design process
- Evaluation can be a positive experience
- Evaluation contributes to conservation education and outreach program’s success
The reader will build their knowledge of:
- Key evaluation terms and concepts
- The relationship between evaluation and research
- How evaluation processes and findings can contribute to decision making
- The strengths and weaknesses of different evaluation approaches and data collection methods
- The relationship among a program’s goals, objectives, activities and expected outcomes
The readers will be able to
- Develop and refine key evaluation questions
- Review and contribute to an evaluation plan
- Construct and improve data-collection instruments
- Collect credible and reliable data
- Interpret results and draw conclusions
This book provides practical advice on conducting an evaluation that is specific for conservation professionals. Case studies describe how evaluation has led to program improvements in a range of conservation settings. While there are numerous books that describe how to conduct program evaluation, none provide specific examples and tools relevant to improving environmental outcomes.
Kate Clavijo is a practising program evaluator with more than 20 years of experience evaluating informal and formal educational programs. She served as the executive director of the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education and is the lead author of the publication Evaluation Use in Nonformal Education Settings published by the American Evaluation Association. She has extensive experience in environmental education and a strong interest in evaluation capacity building. Dr Clavijo earned her doctorate in Educational Program Evaluation and Master's degrees in Environmental Education and Biology at the University of Louisville.
Kathayoon Khalil is the Conservation Impact Manager at the Oregon Zoo and the former Principal Evaluator for the Seattle Aquarium. She received her PhD in Learning Sciences and Technology Design from Stanford University, studying the use of social network analysis to understand how innovation in evaluation spreads among the zoo and aquarium community. Kathayoon started her career as a teen volunteer at the Oregon Zoo and quickly developed a passion for wildlife and conservation. Kathayoon received her Master's of Environmental Science degree from the Yale School of Forestry and her Bachelors in Organismal Biology from Claremont McKenna College. She is an alumna of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program as well as an instructor for Project Dragonfly at Miami University of Ohio.
"Basics matter. Practical advice matters. Focused adaptation matters. Evaluation matters. This book provides practical advice about evaluation basics adapted to and focused on conservation education and outreach. This book will matter to those who want to be effective, document that effectiveness, and communicate effectiveness to others."
– Michael Quinn Patton, author of Utilization-Focused Evaluation, 5th edition (2020)
"Clavijo and Khalil have created an approachable, grounded book for conservation educators and others to use, and they have done so with an eye to not needing to make everyone an evaluator. Rather this book is for educators and others who want or need to evaluate their programs, and the book can provide the foundations for evaluations to be successful. While presenting evaluation basics, the authors have found a voice that feels like a friendly guide more than a lecture from an instructor. The relevant, and many, examples bring to light the depth behind the instructional narrative and show why evaluation use is so very important."
– Joe E. Heimlich, PhD, Senior Director of Research, Center of Science and Industry, Academy Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University
"I have been searching for a particular type of evaluation resource for many years. One that I can share with those involved in conservation education and outreach. One that is professionally resourced and written but is also 'down-to-earth' in content and approach. Well, I have finally found it in Practical Evaluation for Conservation Education and Outreach. And not surprisingly, two professional conservation educators who also happen to be professional evaluators wrote it. Based on their own experiences and those of many others, Clavijo and Khalil have masterfully woven the technical nature and concepts of evaluation into the practical everyday situations conservation educators face. The variety of examples sprinkled throughout the text illustrate not just the 'how to do it' but the 'why bother with it' of evaluation. Whether designing, implementing, improving, or determining outcomes and impacts of programs, those involved in conservation education and outreach will find solid evaluation approaches, concrete examples, and more than enough inspiration in Practical Evaluation for Conservation Education and Outreach to achieve their goals."
– Emmalou Norland, Evaluation and Assessment Scientist, Research and Analytics Team, Workforce Partnerships, Southern New Hampshire University