Session 6 E

Robust Evaluation: "Not Your Standard Survey"

Time: Wednesday 12:40 PM –1:50 PM

Presenter(s): William Hall, Ombudsman, Dept of Interior; Mary Chavez Rudolph, Ombudsman, Dept of Interior; Sigal Shoham, Ombudsman, Dept of Interior – Learn more about these presenters by visiting the presenter page.

Level: Established


Evaluation of ombuds services is vital to demonstrating the importance of our work and continually improving our practice. The evaluation methods we choose require us to be thoughtful and innovative in order to obtain valid results and be true to the standards of practice that we espouse. Thus, evaluation is integrally linked to innovation, integrity, and demonstrating importance, the themes of this year’s conference. The Director of the Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution Office in the Department of the Interior, William Hall, and two of the ombuds from that office, Mary Chavez Rudolph and Sigal Shoham, will present information and engage the audience in a discussion of the value of evaluating ombuds services—especially with increasing pressure to provide data and justify the expenditure of resources. The presenters will review practices throughout the field and literature, and provide some background in research methods. We will discuss the challenges and opportunities (e.g., policies, laws, SOPs, etc.) to provide context, particularly for ombuds in the federal sector. Finally, we will offer an in-depth description of the evaluation methods that the DOI CADR ombuds recently began using and the many decisions we made to balance the need for valid results to inform our practice with the IOA Standards of Practice.


Learning Objectives

  1. An understanding of the value of evaluating ombuds services and offices.
  2. An awareness of ombuds evaluation from review of the literature and the field.
  3. Knowledge of challenges and opportunities for the evaluation of ombuds and ombuds offices (eg. policies, laws, SOPs, etc), and the Department of the Interior method for evaluation of ombuds services.
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