NLPES Excellence in Evaluation Award

NLPES Excellence in Evaluation Award


2015 Submission Information and Award Criteria

The NLPES Executive Committee will present this award to the office determined to have contributed the most to the field of legislative program evaluation during the four-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2011, and ending Dec. 31, 2014. One winner will be selected each year.

Submission Instructions

Submissions for the Excellence in Evaluation Award should include the following:

1. A written narrative of no more than five pages in length which describes the office’s body of work, the impact it has made, and how it has contributed to the field of program evaluation during the application period. Suggestions regarding the type of information that may be included are provided in “Selection Criteria” below.  

Important Change: When developing your written narrative, please be aware that it may be published. The NLPES Executive Committee now requires that the office receiving this award must allow its narrative to be posted to the NLPES awards website.

2. Attachment A – An organization chart that generally represents the four-year application period. Also provide a table that shows the number of performance/program evaluator FTEs by their relevant position in the organization and total annual expenditures, by year, for the application period.

3. Attachment B – Summary information about the number of performance evaluation reports, special reports, briefing memos, and other work products issued during the four-year period. (Note: Do not include financial audits and other work performed primarily by financial auditors as this type of work will NOT be considered when evaluating each application.) If possible, please include a complete listing of all work products to allow the judges to obtain an understanding of the topics covered by each type of work product. If such a list is unavailable, please provide a general description of the types of information provided and topics covered by each type of work product.

4. Attachment C – Copies of up to three reports so the judges can become familiar with the appearance and visual quality of your work products. You may provide instructions for how other reports can be found on your website.

5. Other Attachments – Any relevant information that helps show your office’s results in meeting the selection criteria below. (Note: Because of the time commitment required to properly review all applications, we ask that you not overwhelm the judges with miscellaneous information. If other attachments are included, please be sure they are specific and clearly describe how they address the selection criteria.)

6. Please include the name, phone number and e-mail address of a contact person in your office. (If your office receives this award, this information may be used in handouts for the NCSL Legislative Summit and the NLPES Professional Development Seminar.) If you wish, you may include the names, titles and e-mail addresses for no more than five individuals who you would like notified if you receive the award.

Selection Criteria

Judges will evaluate each submission based on the information presented in the written narrative and the attachments. The narrative should describe the office’s achievements in three specific areas: impact, body of work, and furthering the field of program evaluation. These areas, their relative importance, and descriptions of information that may be included in each area are described below:

1. Impact (50%) – Include information about the significance of your work and how it has positively affected state operations and policies. For example, you may show how your work has saved the state money, increased revenue, changed the way a program or service is provided, or led to laws passed or rescinded, etc.

2. Body of Work (30%) – Include information about the work your office produced and how that work was accomplished during the four-year period. Any comments you want to make about the information provided in Attachments A and B should be contained in this section. You should describe how subject areas were selected for evaluation and indicate whether your office used contractors to perform special work or reports. Examples of additional information that may be included to describe your office’s body of work are as follows:

  • Any unique circumstances in your state that impacted the selection of evaluation topics.
  • A series of reports issued on a specific topic area.
  • How your reports clearly and effectively communicate your message to legislators and other readers.
  • The number of presentations made to legislative committees and other bodies, if applicable.
  • Any noteworthy accomplishments or extraordinary actions taken by your office. Examples may include additional staff or appropriations given to increase to the amount or breadth of evaluation work performed, initiating new processes within your evaluation shop which have proved highly successful (and might be useful to others to emulate), and other accomplishments.

3. Furthering the Field of Legislative Evaluation (20%) – Include information about your participation in NLPES activities, providing training for other shops, or working with or sharing information with other states, local governments, and state agencies, etc. You may also consider including the use of unique or innovative methodologies to conduct evaluations.

Frequency of Submission

Any program evaluation office can apply for the Excellence in Evaluation Award. However, an office that wins the award in a given year is not permitted to apply for the award for the following two years, and as described below, may be asked to provide a judge in the two following years as needed.

Information about Judges

Each year, the NLPES Executive Committee selects a panel of three judges to review award submissions. The offices which have won the Excellence in Evaluation Award in the two preceding years may be asked to provide one judge each.  These judges are selected to minimize the potential for conflict of interest or bias.  Please mail or email your application to each of the judges by the submission deadline May 8, 2015.

The Excellence In Evaluation judges for 2015 are:

  • Pamela Taylor (Head Judge)
    Program Evaluation Division
    Legislative Office Building, Suite 100
    300 North Salisbury Street
    Raleigh, NC 27603
    (919) 301-1429
  • Gerald Schwandt
    Office of the Auditor General
    201 North Washington Square
    Lansing, MI 48913
    (517) 334-8050
  • Ross Strope
    Legislative Oversight Division
    State Capitol, Room 132
    201 West Capitol Avenue
    Jefferson City, MO 65101
    (573) 751-4143


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