Because some of the claims and statements I will make in this chapter could be surprising, I believe that it is important for readers to know my background in both evaluation and working with dispute resolution programs. I have a long and successful track record in evaluation and limited recent experience developing evaluation systems for two different programmatic settings-the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (USIECR) and the Oregon Public Policy Program, of which the Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission is one of three state agency partners. Myevaluation experience spans almost 20 years of practice in diverse public program areas, including environmental and resource programs, all areas of health and human services, arts and culture programs, and international development. Over this period I have employed most of the many approaches evaluators have in their toolkits. I was president of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) for two years and have been privileged to serve at national levels in both the CES and the American Evaluation Association (AEA). One thing

that has struck me over the relatively brief period in which I have been involved with dispute resolution programs is the gap between professional program evaluation and evaluation of dispute resolution. From anecdotal and personal observation, it seems that many who evaluate dispute resolution programs come from some association with the practice area itself and have limited evaluation experience outside these programs. As indicators of this, when I asked attendees at the invigorating and successful conference associated with this volume how many were members of the American Evaluation Association or had attended AEA meetings, only a few indicated that they fitted the bill. Likewise, an important state dispute resolution program held a set of invited meetings on evaluating dispute resolution programs the same week as the AEA annual meetings. Both examples demonstrate the gap between professional evaluation and the evaluation of dispute resolution programs. Both practices could benefit from closer collaboration among practitioners.