SPEC makes program evaluation come to life! SPEC moves evaluation from technocratic research skills to usable findings for stakeholder through our strong relationships with clients. We developed an evaluation practice model (EvaluationLive!®) that puts a premium on the evaluator-client relationship. We consciously engage clients in interactive and facilitative processes throughout all evaluation stages to create an excitement for learning and for making sense of findings.

SPEC maintains a strong commitment to high quality evaluation teams with all core EvaluationLive!®  Evaluator Elements.

Our Approach

We've learned over the past 30 years that some people find evaluation to be intimidating or a negative experience. In all of our evaluations - from small, shoestring evaluations of grassroots efforts to national evaluations of programs and policy change efforts, SPEC works hard to make doing and learning from evaluation stimulating, engaging and fun! One way we assure that learning results from our evaluations is that SPEC makes extensive use of experienced Affiliated Consultants to tailor-make our evaluation team to best fit the needs of each client. All SPEC evaluations are directed and managed centrally by one of the three full-time SPEC Associates employees, ensuring that our reputation for producing high-quality deliverables is never compromised. 

Our Content Expertise

SPEC’s skills in evaluation management coupled with our extensive roster of Affiliated Consultants assures that each evaluation team has sufficient evaluation and subject matter expertise to provide meaningful information and have smart conversations. Because SPEC brings just the right subject matter expertise to each evaluation team, we not only provide information, we also offer insights. Between our staff and Affiliated Consultants, SPEC has easy access to experts in:

  • Early Childhood, Elementary and Higher Education
  • Youth Development
  • Aging
  • Systems Thinking and Organizational Development
  • Community-Based Research
  • Interorganizational Collaboration and Online Learning Communities
  • Public Policy Change

Our Flexibility

SPEC’s emphasis on learning means that we put the right information from our evaluations in front of the right people at just the right time. We modify evaluation design and evaluation team membership as the need for information dictates in order to provide our clients with meaningful information in time for it to be useful for decision making. We bend over backwards to make sure that evaluation findings are available when they can make the greatest impact on program design, implementation and/or funding.

Our Communication Techniques

SPEC is expert at asking good questions, managing evaluation conversations, facilitating learning about and from evaluations, listening, and writing. Each evaluation usually involves an Evaluation Advisory Group representing key program stakeholders that our client creates. The Evaluation Advisory Group advises SPEC to assure that we ask the right evaluation questions, design the right data collection and analysis plan, and draw useful interpretations and insights from the evaluation findings. 

Our Learner Attitude

Like our clients, SPEC staff and Affiliated Consultants also expect to learn from each evaluation we conduct. We recognize that our clients are the real experts in program implementation and expect to learn about the program while we are evaluating it. We also expect each evaluation to teach us how we can improve our own evaluation skills and services.