Expertise

Evaluation

Fourth grade students
PHOTO: BILLIE ANN BLALOCK

Students at Drayton Hall Elementary school are using iPads for a variety of learning activities. Their school is participating in the One-to One Learning Initiative that Metis evaluated in Charleston County, South Carolina.

For more than three decades, Metis Associates has designed and conducted research studies and evaluation projects for educational institutions, government agencies, foundations, and community-based organizations. These activities are undertaken in a wide range of settings and programmatic areas, from child welfare to education to workforce development. Metis recognizes that one size does not fit all when it comes to evaluation design. Therefore, Metis carefully tailors its evaluations to the specific client, the questions at hand, and budget considerations. Accommodating the perspectives of various constituencies and helping our clients to achieve consensus around technically and socially appropriate evaluation designs is one of our strengths. 

Metis prides itself on taking a participatory approach to research and evaluation, involving clients throughout the life of the project. Often, this process begins with helping clients to articulate their theories of change, craft research questions of interest, and determine the evaluation methods and measures that will best serve to answer these questions. Our teams, made up of evaluators, educators, former local and state administrators, sociologists, research psychologists, statisticians, anthropologists, and data specialists, work closely with our clients to understand their needs, identify their questions, and help them develop the best strategies to find answers.

Metis balances its strong statistical and quantitative-analysis capabilities with unparalleled qualitative research skills. Metis's expert statisticians are highly experienced in developing large databases, using them to track cohorts longitudinally, and monitoring trends as the quantity and breadth of data grow over time. We are also highly adept at designing and administering surveys and focus groups, and analyzing and interpreting findings. We also have extensive experience developing and implementing rigorous evaluation plans including those using an experimental or quasi-experimental design.

Metis's evaluation services are often provided in tandem with strategic planning and policy analysis to help clients assess the effectiveness of their programs in light of current trends and the regulatory environment. Our team uses impact analysis, needs assessment, and other methods to examine the success of current policies and programs, identify gaps between objectives and outcomes, and analyze the potential impact of proposed changes to policy and practice. Metis also helps agencies develop and transition to a self-evaluation structure, reflecting growing demand on the part of many funders for ongoing, internal progress tracking.