Professionalism in Program Evaluators: A Comparison of American and Canadian Evaluators
Keywords:credentialling, ethics, expertise, innovation and research, professional autonomy, professionalism, Professionalization
The professionalization of evaluation means different things to different people, and as a result, the field lacks a clear understanding of how to empirically assess evaluator professionalism. This exploratory study used a sociological model to study the behaviours of practicing evaluators in Canada and the United States using five concepts: expertise, ethical disposition, professional autonomy, innovation and research, and credentialing. Results from 27 in-depth interviews and a survey of 456 respondents demonstrated that, depending on their demographic characteristics, perceptions of professionalism differed between evaluators in the two countries. The study determined that theory-based sociological models can provide insights into the professionalization of program evaluation.
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