Evaluation capacity building in domestic violence service providers
Owens, Robert William
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Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to analyze survey data in order to better understand how domestic violence service providers build their evaluation capacity. Two models were tested based on the Multi-disciplinary Model of Evaluation Capacity Building. According to the model, an organization's evaluation culture determines whether it engages in evaluation capacity building (ECB). ECB results in sustainable evaluation practice (SEP) if organizational learning capacity (OLC) is sufficient. Representatives of 167 domestic violence service providers (DVSPs) from seven western states completed an online survey about efforts to build evaluation capacity in their organizations. Two models were tested. The first model used ECB and OLC to predict SEP. Evaluation culture was not included in models because of measurement and theoretical problems. In order to test the moderating effect of organizational learning capacity, the second model was the same as the first but included an interaction of ECB and organizational learning capacity. ECB and organizational learning capacity did predict sustainable evaluation practices. Results of the second model indicated that ECB and OLC operate on SEP independently rather than OLC moderating the relationship of ECB and SEP. Both models had acceptable fit. Findings suggest that both OLC and ECB are important for improving evaluation practices. Learning capacity and other organizational characteristics should be considered in the practice of ECB as well as the conceptualization of future models and studies of ECB.