Brief history of Western-Eval

Western-Eval was founded in 2018 with the intention of becoming a company that permitted practitioners to use program evaluation to make the world a better place. The goal was to bring decades of technical training and expertise to bear on the real problems of the world. 


Dr. Erik Dutilly's inspiration for Western-Eval came from numerous sources. As a young graduate student, he responded to a request for a program evaluation job with a federal government laboratory. That first year evaluation project turned into a follow-up study. Suddenly, Erik found himself face-to-face with the power of evaluation: rapid-paced social science research aimed at making programs more effective. 


A few years and evaluation projects later, Erik won a place as in the American Evaluation Association's Graduate Evaluation Diversity Internship (GEDI) program. As a GEDI scholar, he gained professional training in evaluation from some of the most prominent figures in the evaluation world: David Fetterman, Michael Quinn Patton, among others. 


In truth, what cemented the founding of Western-Eval was when Erik learned that his evaluation work with the Boulder County Latino History Project led to the organization earning several grants and earning a programmatic home at a local university. Watching a program that he felt passionate about (Erik was an advisory board member, too) become successful as a result of his evaluations was proof of the value of evaluation. 


This company was founded on the premise of being  a vehicle for doing good in the world. In philosophical terms, this company's value is measured by its instrumental utility. The more good Western-Eval does, the more valuable it becomes to the world.