Welcome to the website of the Use and Influence of Evaluation Topical Interest Group!

Topical Interest Group on Use and Influence of Evaluation (formerly known as the Evaluation Use TIG) is one of the original TIGs of AEA. It was born of the interest in evaluation utilization in the 1970s, extending into both theoretical and empirical work on Use in the 1980s and 1990s, and to a broader conceptualization of use and influence in the 2000s.

Our Mission: The Use and Influence of Evaluation TIG is committed to understanding and enhancing the use of evaluation in a variety of contexts and to maximizing the positive influence of evaluation through both the evaluation process and the results produced.

Recent topics of interest to our members include:

  • Artificial Intelligence 
  • DEI
  • Systems: systems thinking, influence of evaluation on systems, organizational use, organizational change/organizational learning
  • Emerging Research & Theories
  • Strategies for enhancing the use, influence & impact of evaluation
  • Barriers to the use & influence of evaluation
  • Ethics of use, influence and evaluation misuse
  • Critical reflection on intended and unintended influences of evaluation
  • Global perspectives
  • Meta-evaluation of evaluation impact

Fundamental Issues in Evaluation Use

The Evaluation Use and Influence TIG takes the following issues as fundamental to the evaluation profession:

Theory of Use/Influence. What is the nature of “use” itself? Theories of influence or use (language varies) focus on the nature of influence/use as a construct, on types of use/misuse, and on causal pathways of influence.

Use and the Public Good. What is evaluation’s impact on social justice and other expressions of social betterment? This question merges into ethics and values discussions and the examination of whose interests are addressed in different models of use.

Evaluator Role in Facilitating Use. What is the necessary and appropriate role of the evaluator in facilitating use? What is the nature of influence that is appropriate to that role? The answers to these questions differ across evaluation models.

Validity and Use. How can the consequences of evaluative understandings and actions offer evidence of an evaluation’s validity? Since validity has long been understood to reside in the use of an instrument or method, the focus on use merges into fundamental discussions of validity in evaluation.

Metaevaluation. Is the empirical study of use essentially evaluating the evaluation(s)? Whether use/influence is an intended or unintended outcome of evaluation, studying the scope of influence of a given evaluation and factors facilitating use moves into metaevaluation.