An Architecture of Environmental Evaluation: For a Better Understanding of Evaluation, Evidence and Effectiveness

2013 EENP Forum

Day 3: Sept 24, 2013 • 10:45am • Greenhouse


By Matt Keene, EPA; Michael Coe, Cedar Lake Research Group

Governments, foundations, and non-profit organizations want evidence about the impact of their investments so that they can understand what interventions work and why and thus direct resources more effectively. Researchers and policy-makers in many sectors, such as education, health care and criminal justice, have compiled clearinghouses of evaluations and other evidence of effectiveness; however such resources in the environmental sector are nascent, limited or non-existent. The Environmental Evaluators Network, with support from the US Environmental Protection Agency, is proposing to develop an Architecture of Environmental Evaluation (ArchEE) to meet the demand for better evaluation, evidence based management and improved transfer and use of knowledge generated through evaluation and similar approaches to systematic improvement and evidence based management. ArchEE is intended to serve as an open access inventory and database for evaluations, evaluators and evaluation-related literature, including formal evaluations and other approaches to systematic improvement and evidence-based management. EEN participants have taken the lead in initiating ArchEE and beginning to refine the project’s conceptualization, design, and planning as well as taking initial steps to pilot components of ArchEE. This session will be thoroughly interactive, and is designed to engage and integrate the diversity of EEN’s knowledge and experience into the ongoing development of ArchEE. Come on…It’ll be rad!

Matt studies and communicates about the merit, worth and significance of EPA programs and policies for the purposes of improvement and accountability. Matt also coordinates the Environmental Evaluators Network (; @enviroevalnet), which aims to advance the field of environmental evaluation through more systematic and collective learning. He is the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) 2014 Program Chair (aka VP to the P!), where he assists AEA’s ( mission to improve evaluation practices and methods, increase evaluation use, promote evaluation as a profession, and support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action. In addition to all of that evaluation, Matt also has fun with his family tending their garden, Furlough Furrows (, and designing/building a home (watching mostly) outside Washington, DC.

Michael is a social and educational research consultant and founder of Cedar Lake Research Group in Portland, Oregon. He provides consultation to government and non-governmental organizations on research design, program evaluation, data collection and management systems, statistical and qualitative analysis, and research communication. Current projects focus on formal and informal science education, applications of technology in educational programs, conservation, plant breeding and sustainable agriculture, natural resource management, and environmental sustainability.


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