Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Evaluation capacity building (ECB) is a practice that can help organizations conduct and use evaluations; however, there is little research on the sustainable impact of ECB interventions. This study provides an empirical inquiry into the sustainability of multiple ECB interventions. Ten ECB practitioners, identified through snowball sampling, were interviewed. They identified 16 organizational leaders from non-profits, higher education institutions, and foundations that "bought in" to ECB and were at least six months removed from an ECB contract. Analysis of these interviews resulted in a blended empirical and theoretical model that highlights the developmental process of ECB sustainability. This model highlights ECB strategies that were employed to create sustainable evaluation practices within organizations, and the sustainability factors that developed over time to facilitate these practices. Real-world examples of these ECB strategies, sustainable evaluation practices, and sustainability factors are described. New ECB strategies not previously identified in the literature emerged, including modeling data conversations and internal communities of practice. Common sustainable evaluation practices are detailed, most notably, use of evaluation findings and policies and procedures for evaluation. Sustainability factors that developed over time throughout the ECB process to facilitate sustainable evaluation practice are also described, including leadership, communication and understanding the benefits of evaluation. This model can help ECB practitioners understand the developmental process of ECB to set expectations over time, utilize new ECB strategies, and leverage links between practices and factors to facilitate sustainable ECB impact.