better evals 600 

Workshop: Commissioning Better Evaluations

Date and time: Wednesday 22nd February and Wednesday 1 March 2023, 11.00am to 2.30pm AEDT (registration from 10.45am). Registrants are to attend both sessions. (full day workshop - 2 sessions)

Venue: Via Zoom. Details will be emailed to registrants just prior to the workshop start time

Facilitator: Vanessa Hood and Duncan Rintoul

Register online by: Tuesday 21 February 2023. Spaces limited to 25 participants from Australia and NZ and international AES members

Fees (GST inclusive): Members $260, Organisational member staff $375, Non-members $425, Student member $125*, Student non-member $210*
 * Students must send proof of their full-time student status to 

Workshop Overview

This one-day course has been custom designed for people who want to commission better evaluations. It is for people with a role in planning, commissioning and managing evaluations. It is suitable for beginners through to those with a few years' experience. 

The training is interactive and hands-on, with lots of practical examples and group activities through the day to keep the blood pumping and the brain ticking. It will provide you with tools that you can start using immediately.

Workshop Content

Participants will gain knowledge and consolidate their understanding of:

  • different types of evaluation and how they can be used to inform policy, strategy and project work
  • principles and steps in successfully planning and implementing an evaluation project
  • techniques for developing and prioritising your evaluation questions
  • effective strategies for stakeholder engagement in the evaluation process
  • elements that make up a good evaluation brief / approach to market
  • factors that influence the scale, budget and timeframe of an evaluation
  • what to look for in an external evaluation team
  • assessment of evaluation proposals and the procurement process
  • management of evaluation consultancies
  • ethical conduct, governance and risk management in evaluation.

Workshop outcomes

Participants will leave the workshop with skills and knowledge to commission better evaluations.

PL competencies

This workshop aligns with competencies in the AES Evaluator’s Professional Learning Competency Framework. The identified domain is:

  • Domain 5 – Project management

Who should attend?

Anyone working in government, the community sector or business who has a role in planning, commissioning or managing evaluations. No prior experience in evaluation is required.

Workshop start times

About the facilitators

Vanessa Hood and Duncan Rintoul run Rooftop Social, a small consulting firm that specialises in social research, evaluation, facilitation and capacity building. Both bring deep practical experience in designing and delivering ECB programs in government and non-government organisations. Together, they have run training on evaluation for a wide range of organisations, ranging from Girl Guides Australia and Financial Literacy Australia to the Victorian Country Fire Authority and the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

Vanessa is the former evaluation lead at Sustainability Victoria. She spent much of 2017 as an Evaluation Fellow in the Australian Government Department of Environment and Energy, where she worked with senior and mid-level groups to advance both strategic and technical aspects of evaluative practice in the organsation. Of late, she has been working extensively with NGOs in the financial counselling and financial literacy sectors. Van also delivers the AES workshop on Facilitation for Evaluators.

Duncan has designed and delivered ECB programs for numerous government agencies, including the Victorian Department of Education and Training, the Australian Government Department of Industry and Science, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Transport for NSW and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services. From 2015-19 he established and led a team responsible for building internal capacity for evaluation and use of evidence across the NSW Department of Education. For a sample of the resources developed as part of this project see


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