As research and evaluation manager, Erin Gager oversees JVA’s evaluation and engagement activities throughout the spectrum of our clients’ work (from planning to implementation to analysis to reporting). She has skills in project management, mixed methods (integrating qualitative and quantitative data), and survey design, and is continually honing her skills in incorporating the principles of social justice and equity within every step of each evaluation process. She strives to ensure that anyone who participates in an evaluation process with JVA will walk away proud of the learning they have accomplished, ready to implement the changes discovered, and confident they can continue the work of learning and improving collaboratively.
Erin has extensive experience with community-driven learning and nonprofit initiatives. She has a passion for empowerment evaluation— evaluation driven by collaborating with communities and designed to work for those implementing the work. Inspired by an early career focused on the program implementation side of the nonprofit industry, her evaluation goal is to support clients to continuously learn and increase the impact of their offerings. As Erin learned about the formal, practical and theoretical sides of evaluation, she never lost that core perspective of someone who has to use the results to improve their program and better support their community.
Erin’s previous roles focused on the early childhood field, including education, health and well-being, family support and systems building. Her project experience includes working in partnership with program implementation staff to identify key performance indicators tied to the organization’s strategic plan, and using these metrics to help create and maintain a regularly updated data dashboard. As the lead evaluator, she implemented an iterative evaluation model for an innovative pilot program designed to grow a diverse early childhood workforce. She also facilitated a collaborative planning process for the Early Childhood Leadership Commission Data Subcommittee to develop data equity action steps for use in their work. And she led a community-based action research with early childhood educators to explore concepts of professionalism in the field and how they can inform systemic improvements for the early childhood workforce.
Erin recently completed her M.A. in research and evaluation methods at the School of Education and Human Development at University of Colorado Denver, where she also completed her graduate certificate in the Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program. Erin has a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Michigan.
Erin serves on the Evaluation and Learning Committee for East5ide Unified and the Colorado Evaluator’s Network Program Committee.
Erin loves creating textile art, including crocheting, sewing, visible mending, macrame and embroidery.