Hidden in Plain Sight: An Innovative Method for Incorporating Policy Assessment in Evaluation


Legislation and policy initiatives are valuable strategies for social change, since these population-based interventions can outlast funding and program cycles. Policies and governance documents are adopted and implemented in many evaluation contexts, including health, education and human services. These written policies can be a valuable source of data when evaluating system-level initiatives or complex programs; however, policy assessment is often overlooked in mixed methods evaluation. Using an anti-bullying initiative as an example, this interactive workshop will describe five key steps for evaluating written policies. Participants will practice coding, scoring, and comparing policies against a gold standard, experiencing how a multi-disciplinary participatory approach improves the final product. Participants will understand how conducting a systematic, multidimensional policy assessment provides information for diverse stakeholders that other evaluation methods may not reveal.

You will learn:

  • a straightforward, five-step methodology for evaluating policies and governance documents from a variety of sectors and contexts
  • techniques for comparing the merit or worth of policies using anti-bullying legislation as a real-world example
  • how multi-disciplinary teams and a participatory approach can improve the overall quality and utility of a policy assessment.


Kari Greene is a Senior Consultant with InQuire.  She has led workshops, courses and webinars for professional, academic, and community-based groups for over 15 years with a focus on qualitative methods and analysis, cultural responsiveness in evaluation, and LGBTQ health. An active member of American Evaluation Association (AEA), she has participated in over 25 presentations, including a 90-minute skill-building workshop on this topic at the 2014 conference which was well received.

You can contact Kari Greene by email via kari.greene@gmail.com






To gain the most from this workshop, participants will need a basic knowledge of qualitative analytic processes and terminology. Experience with policy assessments or legal research is not necessary, though very welcome.


Sunday, April 30 from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon

Link to CE competencies for evaluators

  • Identifies data sources
  • Develops reliable and valid measures/tools
  • Analyzes and interprets data
  • Examines organizational, political, community, and social contexts
  • Uses collaboration/partnering skills