Summer Evaluation Institute

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, AEA has made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person 2021 Summer Evaluation Institute. 

Although we can’t meet in person, we are excited to bring back our Summer Learning Series, featuring workshops inspired by the Summer Evaluation Institute. Each workshop provides an in-depth learning experience with your peers and gives you the freedom to participate from your home or office. 

 New this year: Social Justice Series

AEA is launching a new Social Justice Series. AEA is committed to improving evaluation theory, practice, and methods with education and resources that build professional skills of cultural competence, communication, facilitation, and conflict resolution. We are committed to providing a wide range of offerings that help practitioners learn, identify, and address Social Justice and Equity in evaluation.

The series will kick off this summer and continue throughout the calendar year. Two of the below workshops fall under the Social Justice Series.


We encourage you to bookmark this page for reference.

NEW - Basics of Using Theory to Improve Practice

Thursday, July 1, 12 p.m. EDT

Presenters: John LaVelle and Stewart Donaldson

Level: Beginner

This workshop provides practicing evaluators with an opportunity to improve their understanding of how to use theory to improve evaluation practice. Lecture, exercises, and discussions will help attendees learn how to apply evaluation theories, social science theories, and stakeholder theories of change to improve the accuracy and usefulness of their evaluations. A range of examples from evaluation practice will be provided to illustrate main points and take-home messages.


SOLD OUT - Hands-On Ethics and Equity in Quantitative Evaluation - Social Justice Series

Friday, May 21, 12 p.m. EDT

Presenter: Heather Krause

Level: Advanced

A working understanding of how to incorporate ethics and equity into quantitative evaluation is essential for professional evaluators, grantmakers, foundation, and decision makers. This workshop will guide attendees through the process of learning to identify inequity and hidden bias at seven key stages of the evaluation data lifecycle. The focus is on quantitative evaluation projects, however, many of the principles apply equally well to qualitative evaluation.


SOLD OUT - Collaborative Mapping: Integrating Stakeholder Knowledge for Better Program Models

Wednesday, May 26 & Friday, May 28, 12 p.m. EDT

Presenter: Bernadette Wright, Meaningful Evidence, LLC

Level: Advanced

Many evaluations are based on a simple understanding, often represented as a logic model or theory of change, that may not fit how people see the program. In this workshop, you will learn and practice “collaborative mapping,” a technique to surface, share, and integrate stakeholders’ understandings of their situation. Importantly, this new approach to mapping helps you create program models that are more useful for evaluation. You will also learn how to use the resulting map as a framework for decision-making, communication, and data tracking.


SOLD OUT - Introduction to Survey Methodology for Evaluators: The Art and Science of Survey Use, Development, and Validation 

Tuesday, June 1, 12 p.m. EDT

Presenter: J. Montana Cain, Children's Trust of South Carolina

Level: Beginner

In this skill-building workshop, attendees will be guided through the process of: determining survey use, constructing questions, organizing surveys, and gathering evidence of validity. Attendees will be able to use the information and strategies to strengthen the impact and use of surveys as a data collection strategy. Attendees will have the opportunity to construct a survey during the session and are encouraged to come with a survey topic in mind. Otherwise, sample surveys topics and scenarios will be provided.


SOLD OUT - It’s Not the Plan, It’s the Planning: Strategies for Evaluation Plans and Planning

Thursday, June 17, 12 p.m. EDT (Please note: This workshop has been rescheduled from its previous date.)

Presenter: Sheila B. Robinson, Ed. D, Custom Professional Learning, LLC

Level: Beginner

This interactive workshop will introduce attendees to an array of evaluation activities that comprise evaluation planning and preparing a comprehensive evaluation plan. Participants will leave with an understanding of how to identify stakeholders and primary intended users of evaluation, the extent to which they need to understand and be able to describe the evaluand (the program), strategies for conducting literature reviews, strategies for developing broad evaluation questions, considerations for evaluation designs, and using the Program Evaluation Standards and AEA’s Guiding Principles for Evaluators in evaluation planning.


SOLD OUT - Interactive Dashboards Using Excel and Google Sheets

Friday, June 25 & Tuesday, June 29, 12 p.m. EDT

Presenters: Shelly Engelman, PhD; Tom Withee

Level: Advanced

Creating dynamic dashboards in Excel and Google is a fantastic and cost-effective way to view important data with minimal construction time. This workshop takes you through all you need to know to design interactive dashboards from start to finish using these programs. The presenters will provide you with practical, hands-on, step-by-step instructions to turn your static data table into a dynamic dashboard that will “wow” your stakeholders. You will leave the workshop with clear steps that you can immediately implement to create stunning dashboards that are pliable, dynamic, and easy to reproduce.


SOLD OUT - Utilization of a Racial Equity Lens to Help Guide Strategic Engagement and Evaluation - Social Justice Series

Wednesday, June 30, 12 p.m. EDT

Level: All


  • Mindelyn Anderson
  • Tracy Hillard
  • LaShaune Johnson
  • Kristine Andrews

This workshop focuses on the practical use of a racial equity lens when conducting evaluation. The tools presented account for culture and race as important considerations when conducting an evaluation because there are both critical and substantive nuances that are missed, ignored, and/or misinterpreted when an evaluator is not aware of the culture of those being evaluated and does not adopt a racial equity approach to the work. Participants will be provided with a template for analyzing programs through a culturally responsive and racial equity lens, designed to focus deliberately on an evaluation process that takes race, culture, equity, and community context into consideration.


Much like our in-person workshops, the digital workshops have designated capacities in order to create an intimate learning environment. We recommend you register early to secure your spot!