La Follette School Professors Don Moynihan and Dave Weimer offered presentations about their areas of expertise during the 2017 National Legislative Program Evaluation Society (NLPES) Conference in Madison this fall. Associate Director Hilary Shager also served on a panel discussion about recruiting and onboarding evaluators during the event.
Moynihan presented Performance Measurement Information: A Behavioral Perspective, while Weimer presented Considering Cost-Benefit Analyses. Moynihan explored the cognitive biases that limit people’s ability to use data rationally and shared suggestions to overcome those biases, while Weimer offered his insights about the importance of keeping a broad view in mind when selecting which tool is appropriate for which analytical challenge.
Meanwhile, Shager participated in a discussion about strategies for recruiting staff and building effective relationships with public policy institutions that train future evaluators. The four-person panel led by Emily Johnson of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission also addressed the importance of staff onboarding.
Nearly 150 people attended the four-day training event for state legislative staff who work in program evaluation and performance auditing. The nonpartisan Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) hosted the professional development event, which drew participants from 29 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
“We are thrilled to have such a close relationship with the Wisconsin LAB,” Shager said. “Our students exit the La Follette School ready to contribute to LAB’s mission, and we appreciate the opportunity for them to learn and practice such important policy analysis and program evaluation skills.”
Ten LAB staff members, including four La Follette School alumni, also presented or served as panelists: Dan Kleinmaier (MPA ’12), Maria Toniolo (MIPA ’14), Paul Stuiber (MA ’88), and Noah Natzke (MPA ’12).