Conflict of Interest?


#1

I work as an evaluator for a nonprofit. Other agency leaders designed a process for conducting a curriculum evaluation and selected a consultant. I wasn’t involved until now. The consultant they selected developed the curriculum. She has already asked concerning questions (e.g., did you asked them why they aren’t implementing it?). I feel like it’s a major conflict of interest. Would appreciate hearing what other people think. Also, are there any resources I can share with agency executive leadership related to conflict of interest?

Thanks so much!

Lisa


#2

I think it would depend quite a bit on the evaluation purpose.

If it’s really in the formative or developmental areas, the curriculum design is only the first step. Evaluation is then a tool for improvement.

If it’s purely summative then that’s definitely a bit odd. I tend to hit up Better Evaluation when I need some source material. Ultimately I would look at this as a learning opportunity and possibly initiate the creation/editing of your own nonprofits ethical guidelines to include conflict of interest.

https://www.betterevaluation.org/en/evaluation-options/ethical_guidelines


#3

If the purpose is remedial (or like @clysy noted, formative or developmental), then it’s a bit less troubling in my view… Though why the external consultant who developed it should lead the eval effort is still pretty strange (given the sometimes overly elevated value status of external reports).

If it’s summative, huge read flag, even if the evaluator is acting with integrity. It just adds a barrier that could be avoided.