Topical Interest Groups

Topical Interest Groups (TIGs) are subgroups of the association comprised of members with common interests. TIGs may be formed around methodologies such as Needs Assessment, around work contexts such as Government Evaluation, around salient concerns such as Feminist Issues, or around professional status such as Independent Consultants. AEA currently supports 50+ TIGs in their pursuit of evaluation best practices within their topic area.

AEA members who are actively involved in TIGs receive greater value out of their membership. The TIG community is a valuable way to remain connected to a topic, specialty, or methodology while working independently to improve programs. In addition, TIGs help the AEA education team build the Evaluation Conference schedule, giving TIGs real influence in the teaching of evaluation.

Although there is no limit of how many TIGs you can join, we recommend you limit your membership to five in order to maintain appropriate involvement.

  • To join a TIG, log on to your AEA account and update your profile with your TIG preferences here.
  • To seek answers to the most frequently asked questions about TIGs click here

Learn more about AEA's selection of TIGs by clicking their names below for a brief description, a link to their TIG website (members only), and the contact information for their leadership.

Advocacy and Policy Change

The Advocacy and Policy Change Topical Interest Group exists to provide a forum for communication, learning, mutual support and professional development for those interested in evaluating broadly defined advocacy and policy activities. Learn More

Arts, Culture, & Museums

The goal of the Arts, Culture, and Museums TIG is to support and strengthen the evaluation of arts, humanities, and science programs, practices, and visitor participation. The programs that we evaluate occur across a wide variety of contexts including schools, universities, cultural organizations, museums, libraries, zoos, aquariums, community centers, and parks. Learn More

Assessment in Higher Education

The Assessment in Higher Education (AHE) TIG seeks to provide a community of support for evaluators working within higher education. Our primary goals are to:

  • Provide a forum for discussion and collaboration
  • Promote professional development 
  • Enhance evaluation understanding and practiced
  • Disseminate and discuss best practices.

Within the specific context of higher education, the scope of the AHE TIG is to cover topics related to university, college and community college assessment and evaluation of programs, initiatives, and services for student and faculty populations. Learn More

Behavioral Health

The Behavioral Health (BH) TIG is dedicated to promoting behavioral health and well-being of individuals, across the lifespan, who are at risk of or living with mental health, substance misuse, and other addictive disorders (e.g., gambling, eating disorders). We aim to improve behavioral health prevention, practice, and policy through the translation of knowledge and information gained through the systematic evaluation of practices, programs, policies, and service delivery systems. Learn More

Cluster, Multi-Site, and Multi-Level Evaluation

The Cluster, Multi-Site, and Multi-Level Evaluation (CMME) TIG is focused on supporting members with sessions, resources, and information relevant to the implementation of these frameworks and methodologies in evaluation. CMME encompasses methodologies and tools for designs that address single interventions implemented at multiple sites, multiple interventions implemented at different sites with shared goals, and the qualitative and statistical treatments of data for these designs, including meta-analyses, statistical treatment of nested data, and data reduction of qualitative data. Learn More

Collaborative, Participatory & Empowerment Evaluation

The Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment (CP&E) Evaluation Topical Interest Group (TIG) is designed to foster collaboration, share knowledge, and promote scholarship. Learn More

College Access Programs

College Access Programs (CAP) TIG members have a specific interest- to enhance the quality of college access programming through evaluation data. This TIG offers a community of practice for evaluators to discuss issues college and career awareness and readiness, as well as college enrollment, retention, and completion rates. Learn More

Community Development

The Community Development TIG is focused on providing a forum for communication, learning, mutual support and professional development for those interested in evaluating programs and policies focused on transforming places through social, economic, political, physical changes. In this context, community development includes initiatives grounded in neighborhoods, cities, counties, and wider regions. Learn More

Community Psychology

The Community Psychology Topical Interest Group (CP TIG) promotes the values and methods of community psychology in evaluation and evaluation theory and practice in community psychology. Learn More

Costs, Effectiveness, Benefits, & Economics

The Costs, Effectiveness Benefits, and Economics TIG aims to:

  • Improve evaluation practices and methods by conducting workshops, discussion panels, conversation hours, and organizing posters and symposia, on the evaluation of program costs, cost-effectiveness, and cost-benefit.
  • Increase evaluation use by encouraging and modeling inclusion of variables—costs, cost-effectiveness indices, and cost-benefit measures—that are particularly salient to decision-makers who focus more on the “bottom line” and less on the outcome variables of some program evaluations.
  • Promote evaluation as a profession by providing a public forum for describing and critiquing methods of evaluating costs, cost-effectiveness, and cost-benefit. We also would provide training and mentorship in cost-inclusive evaluations to our fellow evaluation professionals, to students, and to colleagues from related professions who aspire to be program evaluators.
  • Support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action by making explicit and quantitative the costs, and the monetary outcomes, of programs, we hope to add new dimensions to program evaluation. By including cost data formally in evaluations, we also may help shore up interest in and funding of evaluations by organizations increasingly concerned about costs and well as effectiveness. We will emphasize the importance of not focusing solely on costs, because it is the relationship between costs and outcomes that is of particular interest in understanding how a program works and how to help it become (even) better. Learn More

Data Visualization & Reporting

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Democracy & Governance

The DRG TIG is a community of monitoring and evaluation specialists who work within the sector of Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance. Learn More

Design & Analysis of Experiments

The purpose of the Design & Analysis of Experiments TIG is to provide an active forum for AEA members who specialize in or have special interest in experimental evaluation research to connect and advance the methods and practice of this segment of the evaluation field. Evaluations that use an experimental design (with randomization of treatment and control units) are distinctive and involve their own methods, practices and analyses, as well as many that connect to other TIGs’ foci. We hope to engage members from other relevant TIGs in order to have cross-fertilizing discussions. Learn More

  •  Chair: Keith Zvoch (University of Oregon)
  •  Co-Chair: Carl Westine (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
  •  Program Chair: Anthony Gambino (University of Connecticut)
  •  Program Co-Chair: Stephen Bell (NORC at the University of Chicago)

Disabilities and Underrepresented Populations

The Disabilities and Underrepresented Populations (DUP) is a topical interest group of the American Evaluation Association that brings together evaluators from many interests to improve evaluation efforts related to persons with disabilities and other vulnerable populations. Learn More

Disaster & Emergency Management Evaluation

The mission of the Disaster and Emergency Management Evaluation (DEME) Topical Interest Group (TIG) is to facilitate communication and support professional monitoring and evaluation activities that enhance disaster and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery through sharing of evaluation approaches, issues, practices, concepts, and theories related to disaster and emergency management. The DEME TIG is intended to be national and international in scope, fostering a global dialogue. Learn More

Educational Evaluation

The Educational Evaluation TIG’s vision is to foster a close community of educational evaluators who collaborate both within and outside of the TIG and larger organization to become more responsive to context in education and maintain high standards for educational evaluation practice. Our mission is to raise the quality of education evaluation by serving the professional needs education evaluators. The Educational Evaluation TIG values relevant, responsive, high quality educational evaluation that reflects our beliefs in social justice, equity, and the importance of educating the whole child.Learn More

Environmental Program Evaluation

The EPE TIG has over 300 members who specialize in environmental arenas including education, energy, international and global environmental issues. We share a personal and professional passion for the environment, and for promoting a stronger community of practice in environmental evaluation. Learn More

  •  Chair: Allison Van (McMaster University)
  •  Program Chair: Rupu Gupta (Hudson River Foundation)
  •  Program Co-Chair: Greta Landis (Division of Extension - University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Evaluation Managers & Supervisors

The purpose of the Evaluation Managers and Supervisors TIG is to invite inquiry into the nature, scope, structure, purpose, direction, consequences, and impact of evaluation policies. Emphasis will be on examining both formal and informal evaluation policies that influence and shape evaluation practices in public, private, and non-profit sectors. Evaluation policies affecting programs, organizations, professional disciplines, and fields of service delivery within each of these sectors will be explored through TIG discussions and activities.Learn More

Extension Education Evaluation

The Extension Education Evaluation Topical Interest Group (EEE-TIG) was started informally in 1981 by a group of Extension evaluators. Extension is the outreach education arm of the land grant universities in each state, and its mission is to provide research-based educational programming to the public. Learn More

Feminist Issues in Evaluation

The Feminist TIG brings together a dynamic group of evaluators, feminists and gender equality advocates who are united in their passion to promote gender equality and ensure that women’s experiences and voices are integrated more systematically into evaluation practice. Learn More.

Government Evaluation

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Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI)

The Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) TIG envisions the inherent recognition of people of color and other diverse populations as valued scholars and practitioners prepared to lead, innovate, and pioneer in the field of evaluation. Learn More

Graduate Student and New Evaluators

The mission of the AEA Graduate Student and New Evaluator (GSNE) TIG is to develop activities for, and represent the interests of, AEA members who are completing graduate degrees and/or new to the field of evaluation. The intent is to foster communication and networking among graduate students, new evaluators, interested faculty, recent graduates, potential employers, and other AEA members who wish to support the interests our TIG. Learn More

Health Evaluation

The Health Topical Interest Group (TIG) is the largest group of professionals involved in the evaluation of health and human service programs in the world. Our members aim to improve health-related programs through practical but rigorous evaluation methods and procedures. These evaluations not only examine the impact or effectiveness of health programs and services but also their cost effectiveness and benefit to society. Learn More

Human Services Evaluation

The mission of the Human Services Evaluation (HSE) TIG of the American Evaluation Association is to improve the practice of evaluation within the human services field. TIG members seek to improve human services theory, practice, and capacity building through the development and application of state-of-the-art evaluation techniques. Learn More

Independent Consulting

The IC TIG is comprised of a group of evaluators whose firms put evaluation into practice. Our backgrounds are as varied as most of AEA. AEA IC TIG members are sole proprietors, or have formed limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships, or corporations and work across a range of fields and partners. Some of us have staff, others work alone, others hire sub-contractors for projects on an "as needed" basis. In the IC TIG, we inform one another of contract leads, seek one another out to collaborate in completing contracts, and create a diverse and wide-reaching network of partners across the field. Learn More

Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation

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Integrating Technology into Evaluation

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Internal Evaluation

The purpose of the Internal Evaluation TIG is to provide a forum for networking, community building, learning, and professional development for those interested in internal evaluation in a wide variety of settings – organizations and partnerships, nonprofits and for-profits, governmental agencies and NGO, national and international milieus. Learn More

International & Cross Cultural Evaluation

The ICCE TIG aims to share lessons and experiences from/with evaluators around the world. As a TIG, we foster idea exchange amongst AEA members on topics related to international and cross-cultural evaluation. Learn More

LatinX Responsive Evaluation Discourse

The mission of LA RED is to increase representation, engagement and leadership of Latina/o and other evaluators in theory, research and practice of culturally responsive evaluation especially involving the Latina/o community through the development of sustainable avenues for the development and application of Latina/o responsive evaluation theory and practice. Learn More

Leadership and Organizational Performance

The Leadership and Organizational Performance Topical Interest Group (LOP TIG) is dedicated to the advancement of evaluation in the institutional context. Learn More.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Issues

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Mixed Methods Evaluation

The Mixed Methods Evaluation (MME) topical interest group focuses on the study and application of mixed methods use in evaluation practice, including innovative strategies for conducting mixed methods evaluation, exploring mixed methods methodological theory, and sharing tools, lessons, and best practices from the field. Learn More

  •  Chair & Program Chair: Jenna LaChenaye (The University of Alabama at Birmingham)

Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation

The Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation (MIE) TIG helps to develop a spirit of inclusiveness and a reputation of quality in the American Evaluation Association. Learn More

  •  Chair & Program Chair: Darla Scott (Bowie State University)

Needs Assessment

The Needs Assessment (NA) TIG is defined around the application and theory of needs assessment techniques in a variety of evaluation settings. The TIG coordinates its efforts through AEA and is particularly active in the annual conference. Learn More

NonProfit & Foundations

The NonProfit and Foundations TIG works to promote and use evaluation to guide strategy, improve services, and increase impact. Learn More

Organizational Learning & Evaluation Capacity Building

Our mission is to support our members’ efforts to improve their evaluation capacity building performance. We do this by providing them professional development and networking opportunities so they can help organizations and non-evaluators establish and strengthen evaluative practices and learning. Learn More

Program Design

The Program Design TIG provides a forum for spirited dialogue about this evolving area of evaluation, asing questions about design as a product to evaluate; participation by the evaluator in the design process; the conceptual overlap between design, participatory, and developmental evaluation; and assisting international development in its intersection between monitoring and evaluation and design. Learn More

  •  Chair & Program Chair: Abisola Osinuga (University of North Carolina, Center for Health Equity Research | Abacus Evaluation Consultancy)

Program Theory & Theory-Driven Evaluation

The Program Theory and Theory-Driven Evaluation TIG focuses on exploration of and advocacy for the use of program theory to inform strategic planning, program design, and evaluation of both. We come together as a group to celebrate new ideas around the use of program theory as well as discuss its place in evaluation. We also look to identify new techniques that aid in articulation of theory and its influence in evaluative efforts. Learn More

Qualitative Methods

The Qualitative Methods TIG's mission is to support evaluators who utilize and want to learn more about qualitative methods in their practice. Learn More

  •  Chair: Nandita Chaudhuri (Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) | Texas A&M University)
  •  Program Chair: J. M. LaChenaye (Department of Human Studies | School of Education UAB | University of Alabama at Birmingham )
  •  Program Co-Chair: Ashley Thompson (USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service)

Quantitative Methods: Theory & Design

The Quantitative Methods TIG support the effective use of quantitative methods in evaluation. This support is directed at members of this TIG, other members of AEA, and the evaluation community at large. In line with these three audiences, the goals are to help develop an understanding of new and advanced techniques, provide training in core quantitative methods, and promote best practice in specific evaluation contexts. Learn More.

Research on Evaluation

The Research on Evaluation (RoE) Topical Interest Group (TIG) seeks to advance the practice and standing of Research on Evaluation among members of the American Evaluation Association. Learn More.

Research, Technology & Development Evaluation

The Research, Technology and Development (RTD) Evaluation Topical Interest Group (TIG) within the American Evaluation Association has as its mission to advance the field of performance measurement and in-depth assessment of programs, particularly publicly funded RTD programs. Learn More

Social Finance

The Social Finance TIG is a group of AEA members who are interested in the topic of social impact measurement and management and exploring the interplay between the social and financial return of investments. We come from many backgrounds: from evaluators to evaluation commissioners, investors to investees. Membership in our TIG means that you want to learn more about evaluating the social impact of organizations that are aiming to produce both a social and a financial return, whether you are at the forefront of this work or just learning about it. Learn More

Social Network Analysis

Social network analysis is a methodology for studying relational or relationship data and is grounded in understanding and applying the methodology within a context of networks. Social network analysis provides the tools for exploring the fit of individuals and subgroups within a network and for measuring the structural characteristics of the network, subgroups, and individual. Learn More

Social Work

The overall purpose of the Social Work TIG is to provide a focal point for AEA member who are social workers/social work academics/researchers and/or evaluators of social work programs in order to:

  • Improve evaluation practices and methods within social work Increase evaluation use in social work practice
  • Promote evaluation as a profession that has much to offer social workers
  • Support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action, including social work practice
  • Promote AEA amongst colleagues interested in the evaluation of social work practice, and to encourage them to join AEA in order to develop the TIG’s purposes
  • Promote resources for social workers to pursue evaluation research Improve teaching of evaluation in social work education
  • Improve resources for evaluation training for social workers. Learn More.

STEM Education and Training

The STEM Education and Training Topical Interest Group (STEM TIG) represents professional program evaluators who work within the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to improve the design, implementation, impact, and use of evaluation and research on STEM training, education and workforce development programs, policies, and partnerships. Learn More

Systems in Evaluation

The Systems in Evaluation Topical Interest Group (SETIG) is a community created within the American Evaluation Association to provide a forum for ongoing conversation about the use of systems thinking and systems theory in evaluation.SETIG focuses on the use of systems thinking and systems theory as a framework for evaluation planning, design, implementation, analysis, and reporting, across a wide range of content areas, and using a diverse array of evaluation approaches, research methods, and data collection and analysis tools. Learn More

Teaching of Evaluation

The focus of this TIG is the general teaching of evaluation. What are the skills, concepts, and knowledge that new evaluators need to become professional evaluators? What is the best way to help the next generation of evaluators develop these competencies?. Learn More

Theories of Evaluation

Through collaboration and co-learning, the Theories of Evaluation (ToE) TIG seeks to facilitate and contribute to the development and refinement of theoretical and empirical advances and development in evaluation theories, models, and philosophy. Learn More

Translational Research Evaluation

Translational research evaluation is focused on the idea of evaluating the progress of research through the translational research process – which typically includes moving from the basic research, through applied research, and on to some form of impact on a population – which might be a clinical treatment, a policy, a public health intervention or an economic impact. Learn More.

University-Based Centers

The University-Based Evaluation Centers Topical Interest Group (TIG) provides a forum for practicing evaluators based out of universities and colleges to network, problem solve and disseminate knowledge. We aim to ensure that university-based evaluators have a place to share experiences and build understanding about how to thrive within the unique context of a university setting. Learn More

  •  Chair: Jessica Osborne (University of Mississippi)
  •  Co-Chair & Program Chair: Margaret Gullick (Center for Human Services Research at SUNY Albany)
  •  Program Co-Chair: Stuart Henderson (UC Davis School of Medicine Office of Research Evaluation Unit)

Use and Influence of Evaluation

The Use and Influence of Evaluation TIG is committed to understanding and enhancing the use of evaluation in a variety of contexts and to maximizing the positive influence of evaluation through both the evaluation process and the results produced. Learn More.

Youth Focused Evaluation

The purpose of the Youth Focused Evaluation TIG is to create an inclusive and participatory space for all evaluators (adult and youth) that focuses attention on the practices and outcomes of positive youth development and participatory approaches across informal and formal contexts. Learn More