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STPI Presents Paper at AEA: Connecting Taiwan with the World on Evaluation Research


Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) attended the 33rd Annual Conference of the American Evaluation hosted by the American Evaluation Association (AEA) to present research papers and conduct academic exchanges. The trip was expected to boost the visibility of STPI evaluation communities, as well as allowing them to gain insights on the latest evaluation research, future research trend, and pressing problems to be solved.


The theme of the conference was “Paths to the Future of Evaluation: Contribution, Leadership, Renewal”. Its objective was to put the attendees’ heads together in achieving credible and evidence-based evaluation results through qualitative, quantitative, and importance or value-based evaluation measures. In this year’s conference, the president of AEA Tessie Catsambas led the attending experts and scholars into passionate involvement by triggering them with a series of multi-faceted issues.

President of AEA summoned the passion of experts and scholars in the opening ceremony.


STPI presented its paper on the research topic entitled “Measuring the Absorptive Capacities as a Moderator: Communication Structure, Innovation Network, and Knowledge Sourcing”. The paper focuses on discussing the importance of absorptive capacities to communication structure, innovation network, and knowledge sourcing. In essence, the absorptive capacities of an organization can be divided into internal and external absorptive capacities. The idea behind external absorptive capacity is that an organization needs to establish knowledge diversity from within before it could absorb knowledge from the external environment. Meanwhile, internal absorptive capacity emphasizes the importance of sharing overlapping knowledge among departments of an organization. Experts at the conference recognized the significance of STPI’s findings. This included Gretchen Jordan, an expert on the theory-based logic model who worked with the United States Department of Energy.

 STPI presented its research paper at the conference.


STPI had largely benefited from the trip in terms of capturing the trends and impulses of a wide range of issues regarding evaluation research, such as adaptive leadership and its evaluation, health evaluation, cooperation evaluation, and the evaluation methods for network analysis and research organizations. In the future, the wisdom gained can be applied in the research design and information collecting procedures as STPI evaluates its technology programs. Furthermore, by sharing STPI’s insights on the importance of absorptive capacities to communication structure, innovation network, and knowledge sourcing on an international platform, Taiwan’s evaluation research outcomes had gained more exposure, thereby opening up the opportunities for international exchange and connecting Taiwan with the world. At the same time, Taiwanese evaluation communities were also able to forge ties with world experts, which could eventually spur international collaboration.

STPI member with Gretchen Jordan, an expert on the theory-based logic model from the U.S. Department of Energy.