Evaluative Thinking with Thomas Archibald

Evaluative Thinking in Evaluation, Organizations and Society with Thomas Archibald

Thomas Archibald, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education at Virginia Tech. His practice and research are focused primarily on program evaluation and evaluation capacity building. He serves as the Chief of Party/Director of the Feed the Future Senegal Youth in Agriculture project, funded by USAID/Senegal, which is increasing youth engagement in Senegal’s economic growth.

Tom is also an Associate Editor for Evaluation and Program Planning, Editorial Board Member of New Directions for Evaluation, Editorial Board Member of the American Journal of Evaluation, Board Member of the Eastern Evaluation Research Society (EERS), and Program Co-Chair of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Organizational Learning and Evaluation Capacity Building Topical Interest Group.

We discuss the following areas:

– Evaluative thinking and how it relates to evaluation capacity building

– How valuing is an essential part of evaluative thinking

– What evaluation can teach other organizations not traditionally served by evaluation and what evaluators we can learn from them

– Specific steps for evaluators to become more reflective in their practice

– The importance of evaluative thinking, critical thinking, practical wisdom, reflective practice, intuition, and mindfulness

– Social science theories that

– How theories of power and an understanding power dynamics can inform evaluation

– How the study of evaluative thinking and evaluation can assist individuals in a broad range of disciplines

– Can evaluation save the world or does it at least have a role in improving it?

– The future of evaluation: new and emerging approaches

– Books that Tom highly recommends

You can connect with Tom on LinkedIn or @tgarchibald on Twitter.



James Pann smiling at the camera, sitting in front of green trees

James Pann, Ph.D. is a Professor at Nova Southeast University and a highly experienced psychologist and evaluator with nearly 25 years of experience. He conducts research and evaluation projects with non-profit organizations in the fields of health, human services, and education, and has received funding from multiple government agencies.

James holds multiple degrees including a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, an M.S. Ed. from the University of Miami, and a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. He is also the host of the EvalNetwork podcast, a frequent conference presenter, and has published several peer-reviewed research articles and co-authored a book. James currently resides in Miami, Florida with his family and enjoys backpacking trips. Find out more about his work here.


Mindfulness Meets Evaluation: Insights from Jim McDavid

Mindfulness Meets Evaluation: Insights from Jim McDavid

In this episode, I talk with Jim McDavid, Ph.D., about his experience with mindfulness and meditation practice, how it has influenced him, and how it affects how he views and practices evaluation. Our conversation also covers practical wisdom, Jim’s interest in the environment, and challenges associated with determining cause and effect in evaluation. Jim is

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