Professor Emeritus of Planning, Policy & Design and Former Director, Center for Community Health Research
Summary of Research Interests and Professional Activities: Professor Conner's research examines community health promotion and disease prevention programs, specifically how they are best planned, tracked and evaluated. Using a social ecological perspective that defines ‘health’ broadly and focuses at the individual, community and systems levels, he works in partnership with communities of many types and sizes, in the US and abroad. Dr. Conner’s work has involved evaluations of statewide health promotion programs in California (the California Endowment’s CommunitiesFirst grant program) and in Colorado (the Colorado Healthy Communities Initiative). At the community level, he has worked with Chinese and Korean groups on cancer control projects (the ACCT Project) and Latino groups on HIV prevention (the SOLAAR Program). The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment, among others, have supported his work. His research has received awards from the American Evaluation Association and the UC Health Net Wellness Program. Now retired from full-time teaching, Dr. Conner has been able to expand his international work and consulting; he concentrates now on advising related to evaluation, community health, and other areas. Recently, Dr. Conner completed a two-year term as a member of the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment, a part of CGIAR – a Global Agricultural Research Partnership, a consortium of 15 agriculture research centers around the globe focused on reducing poverty and hunger and on improving human health and nutrition. Dr. Conner’s professional activities have focused in the field of evaluation, both nationally and internationally. He is a past president of the American Evaluation Association and a long-time contributor to the association’s activities. From 2005 to 2007, he was the U.S. representative to the International Organisation for Cooperation in Evaluation, IOCE, the global evaluation professional association of national and regional societies. The other international IOCE representatives elected him to be the first official president of IOCE in 2006 and 2007. He continues to work with IOCE now as a Senior Adviser. Dr. Conner also is involved in international evaluation training and capacity building. In recent years, he led workshops in Russia, the UK, Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, and for the South Caucasus countries of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. In 2012, he co-led a workshop at the African Evaluation Association’s meeting in Accra, Ghana. In addition to increasing his international activities following his retirement, Dr. Conner has expanded and diversified the scope of his local community activities, serving as a volunteer mediator of citizen disputes.
Papers - Selected
- Donaldson, S.I., Azzam, T., and Conner, R.F. Future Directions for Improving International Development Evaluations. In S.I. Donaldson, T. Azzam and R.F. Conner (eds.), Emerging Practices in International Development Evaluation. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc., 2013, 225-241.
- Conner, R. F., Fitzpatrick, J. L., & Rog, D. J. A First Step Forward: Context Assessment. In D.J. Rog, J. L. Fitzpatrick, & R. F. Conner (eds.), Context: A Framework for Its Influence on Evaluation Practice. New Directions for Evaluation, 2012, 135, 89–106.
- Easterling, D., Conner, R., and Larson, C.E. Creating a Healthy Civic Infrastructure: The Legacy of the Colorado Healthy Communities Initiative. National Civic Review, 2012, 101:1, 35-48.
- Conner, R.F. Facilitating Evaluation around the World: A Description and Assessment of the International Organisation for Cooperation in Evaluation. In Кузьмин А.И., О’Салливан Р. (ред.). Оценка программ: политика, теория и практика. Москва: ПРЕСТО-РК, 2009. (Kuzmin, A., O'Sullivan, R. (eds.). Program Evaluation: Policy, Theory and Practice. Moscow: PRESTO-RK, 2009.)
- Conner, R., and Easterling, D. The Colorado Trust’s Colorado Healthy Communities Initiative: Results and Lessons for Comprehensive Community Initiatives. The Foundation Review, 2009, 1:1, 24-42.
- Conner, R. F., & Christie, C. A. Evaluation of the Colorado Healthy Communities Initiative: An Interview with Ross Conner. In J. Fitzpatrick, C. Christie, & M. M. Mark (eds.), Evaluation in Action: Interviews with Expert Evaluators. Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2009.
- Vestman, O. K., and Conner, R.F. The Relationship between Evaluation and Politics. In I.F. Shaw, J.C. Greene and M.M. Mark (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Evaluation. London: Sage Publications Ltd., 2006. Reprinted in M. Segone (ed.), Bridging the Gap: The Role of Monitoring and Evaluation in Evidence-Based Policy Making. New York: UNICEF, 2007.
- Gonzalez, E.R, Lejano, R.P., Vidales, G., Conner, R.F., Kidokoro, Y., Fazeli, B. and Cabrales, R. Participatory Action Research for Environmental Health: Encountering Freire in the Urban Barrio. Journal of Urban Affairs, 2007, 29:1, 77-100.
- Conner, R.F., Takahashi, L., Ortiz, E., Archuleta, E., Muniz, J., and Rodriguez, J. The SOLAAR HIV Prevention Program for Gay and Bisexual Latino Men: Using Social Marketing to Build Capacity for Service Provision and Evaluation. AIDS Education and Prevention, 2005, 17:4, 361-374.
- Conner, R.F., Tanjasiri, S.P., Dempsey, C., Robles, G., Davidson, M. and Easterling, D. The Colorado Healthy Communities Initiative: Communities Defining and Addressing Health. In D. Easterling, K. Gallagher and D. Lodwick (eds.) Promoting Health at the Community Level. Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA: 2003, 17-42.
- Conner, R.F., Easterling, D., Tanjasiri, S.P., and Adams-Berger, J. Using Community Indicators to Track and Improve Health and Quality of Life. In D. Easterling, K. Gallagher and D. Lodwick (eds.) Promoting Health at the Community Level. Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA: 2003, 43-76.
- Conner, R.F. Developing and Implementing Culturally Competent Evaluation: A Discussion of Multicultural Validity in Two HIV Prevention Programs for Latinos. In M. Thompson-Robinson, R. Hopson and S SenGupta (eds.), In Search of Cultural Competence in Evaluation. New Directions for Evaluation, 2004, 102, 51-65.
- Conner, R.F. The Practice and Issues of Program Evaluation: Presentation on the Colorado Healthy Communities Initiative. Bilingual (Japanese-English) monograph. Tokyo: Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, 2000.
- Conner, R.F., and Tanjasiri, S.P. Communities Evaluating Community-Level Interventions: The Development of Community-Based Indicators in the Colorado Healthy Communities Initiative. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 1999, 115-136.
- Conner, R.F., Mishra, S.I., and Magaña, J.R. A Model for Moving Science into Policy: The Case of AIDS Prevention Research on Migrant Latinos. Research in Social Policy, 1998, 6, 159-186.
Books - Selected
- Donaldson, S.I., Azzam, T., and Conner, R.F. (editors). Emerging Practices in International Development Evaluation. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc., 2013.
- Fan, H.Y., Conner, R.F., and Villareal, L.P. AIDS: Science and Society. Boston: Jones and Bartlett Learning, Seventh edition: 2013.
- Rog, D.J., Fitzpatrick, J.L., & Conner, R.F. (editors). Context: A Framework for Its Influence on Evaluation Practice. New Directions for Evaluation, 135, 2012.
- Mishra, S.I., Conner, R.F., and Magaña, J.R. (editors). AIDS Crossing Borders: The Spread of HIV among Migrant Latinos. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996.
- Mayne, J., Bemelmans-Videc, M.L., Hudson, J., and Conner, R. (editors). Advancing Public Policy Evaluation; Learning from International Experience. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1992.