Wednesday, November 30, 2022
WE DID IT!
Amidst the polycrisis we are facing, last month ~2,700 of us gathered in New Orleans to deliberate on the critical need to (re) shape evaluation together! We dove deep into topics such as racial equity and decolonization, new actors, and the role of digital data. We also explored feedback and localization as cross-cutting themes.
Important to make visible is that a group of 35 representatives from around the world worked really hard to:
Much appreciation goes to this group and our AEA staff team including Anisha Lewis and Zachary Grays.
As I wrap up my year as President, I turn to the many lessons learned and the many voices whispering in my ear on what I could have done differently. Here are a few thoughts:
All and all I am reminded that this work is voluntary and that it takes a large and dedicated community to hold our evaluation profession together, and keep it moving forward. It was definitely a risk to hold an in-person conference during a pandemic. And we missed many of our colleagues who would have been put in-harms way to attend. Moving forward, AEA, its Board and the Conference Working Group are considering how to (re) shape the design of our convenings in a way that is aligned to our values.
Andrea Guerrero-Guajardo, PhD, MPH
Division Director, Preventative Health and Environmental Services
Bexar County, Texas
I came to AEA in 2013 as a mid-career practitioner-evaluator and quickly found a community that felt familiar to me in many ways. I nominated myself for Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation TIG leadership at my first AEA conference not really understanding what was expected of me and began to serve the organization with enthusiasm. Subsequently, I became a founding member of the Latino Responsive Evaluation Discourse and Indigenous Peoples in Evaluation TIGs and went on to create connections to some of the most brilliant minds I know and discover deep and enduring personal and professional relationships.
“Public good, program improvement, policy formation, community, inclusiveness, diversity” are central to the vision of AEA and are also terms that occur often in public health contexts. These words, along with my personal experiences and professional expertise, are the foundational threads in the fabric of my practice and praxis in my current role as Director of Public Health at Bexar County, Texas.
The field of public health encompasses many areas of work including environmental health, occupational health, global health, injury & and violence prevention, and behavior and mental health, among others. For better and for worse, the harsh light of reality has been focused on the field of communicable disease control since March 2020 and the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. There have been difficult lessons learned, but those difficulties have been buoyed by the incredible success of the vaccine and basic public health practices of masking and handwashing. The values outlined by AEA have provided the roadmap that guides the services provided by city and county government and other healthcare organizations to reach the populations that have been made most vulnerable to severe illness and death from COVID-19. Three years into the pandemic, public health professionals are again creating strategies with renewed vigor and in consideration of the impact of co-morbidities on the severity of COVID-19 infection to address health disparities, upstream inequities, and aspects of heath that are socially determined.
In writing this piece about how the mission, vision, and values impact my work, it also occurred to me that “my work” is not just my job in public health. I am very fortunate to have found an academic home at AEA where I am welcomed and supported by the community of like-minded evaluators. Because I value this community, I am also compelled to apply the words of the mission, vision, and values to AEA as an organization, its members, my peers, and myself. I will continue to hold us all accountable to these words that guide us and the practice of high-quality, ethically defensible, culturally responsive evaluation practices.
Thank you to those who attended the Topical Interest Group Fair and Reception at Evaluation 2022! This was our first time hosting an evening event for attendees to meet AEA’s 60 Topical Interest Groups (TIG).
We created this event at Evaluation 2022 to give you an opportunity to learn more about our TIGs' year-long initiatives and how to get involved. We hope you enjoyed the TIG Fair and Reception and we hope you were able to learn more about AEA TIGs.
By Katie Howell, consultant to the Evaluation Policy Task Force
Last month, the Evidence Team at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), on behalf of the Evaluation Officer Council, announced the winners of the Second Annual Evaluation Community Awards. The 2022 awardees were recognized as inspiring, innovative individuals or teams in the federal government working to advance evaluation and evidence-based policymaking.
Out of 30 nominations from 16 different federal agencies, an OMB panel selected seven winners across six categories. The awardees represent evaluators from various agencies, including Housing and Urban Development, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Evidence Team announcement provides detailed profiles (see links above) for each of the 2022 winners, including anonymous excerpts from their nominations, to tell their stories and demonstrate their critical role in the federal evaluation community.
Evaluation has received increasingly more attention in the federal government in recent years. From agencies establishing Evaluation Officers and publishing multi-year learning agendas and evaluation plans – as required by the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018 – and the 2021 memorandum on evidence-based policymaking, to the FY 2022 President’s Budget including explicit calls for evaluation capacity-building and the launch of the White House Year of Evidence for Action, policies have aimed to elevate the role of evaluation.
However, as the American Evaluation Association has noted in recent years, the federal evaluation community remains under-resourced to comply with these measures and most effectively help strengthen the government’s capacity for evidence-based policies and programs. Awards to government evaluation leaders are an important opportunity to amplify the role of evaluation in the federal government and recognize the evaluation community for their significant contributions to support agency missions, activities, and operations.
Thank you to those who joined us at Evaluation 2022: (re) shaping evaluation together. A few highlights of Eval22 include:
Mark your calendars for Evaluation 2023: The Power of Story on October 9-14, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Learn more about the Evaluation 2023 theme.
The American Journal of Evaluation is a leading resource for scholarship on evaluation theory, methods, and practice. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the journal’s direction and mission, including soliciting articles, overseeing the peer-review process, making editorial decisions, and editing submissions in a timely manner. The Editor-in-Chief leads and manages a diverse editorial board, team of associate editors and interacts with the SAGE Publications production editorial team. They will collaborate with the American Evaluation Association (AEA) and the journal’s publisher to maintain the journal’s longstanding excellence and increase its visibility, readership, impact, and relevance to evaluation professionals and scholars.
Term: Three (3) years, beginning January 1, 2023
Application materials must be submitted by December 15, 2022 to AEA’s Executive Director, Anisha Lewis (email@example.com).
New Directions for Evaluation (NDE), one of the American Evaluation Association’s flagship journals, is soliciting proposals for upcoming issues (Summer 2023 and beyond). We welcome issues that highlight and strive to find creative solutions to the challenges we experience as evaluation practitioners; connect research, theory, and practice; explicate how evaluation can meaningfully contribute to the advancement of society, social betterment, and address the issues of our time; and connect the practice and scholarship within evaluation to other substantive disciplines. Over the past six years, the current Co Editors-in-Chief have worked with a wide array of guest editors to publish on a variety of topics. The most recent issues include:
Should you have an idea that you feel is a good fit for an NDE issue, please feel free to reach out to the Co Editors-in-Chief at NDE@eval.org to discuss your idea. Additional information about the journal, including what to include in a proposal submission can be found on the AEA website here. We look forward to hearing your ideas and continuing to share the great work of our community through NDE.
Are you a student or recent graduate who is interested in learning more about how to build evaluation capacity in organizations?
Would you like to work on interdisciplinary teams to create a practical solution to an evaluation capacity-building challenge identified by an organization? If so, consider participating in the Max Bell School of Public Policy’s Evaluation Capacity Case Challenge (EC3)!
Some perks include:
For more information about the challenge and to apply, visit our website: https://www.mcgill.ca/maxbellschool/initiatives/ec3
Applications are due December 15, 2022.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Leslie A. Fierro at Leslie.Fierro@mcgill.ca.
AEA members receive discounts from certain publishers. Use the special codes below during your next purchase:
Sign up for upcoming sessions in our Digital Knowledge Hub! Explore the upcoming sessions below. Spots are limited, so register now for one of the following spots:
AEA Focus Group eLearning Course
Course Facilitator: Rhonda Williams, PhD
Have you ever been tasked with obtaining feedback from a group of stakeholders? Do you have an interest in improving your strategies for focus groups? Have you thought about improving the coordination and planning for others to share their thoughts?
Purchase the Focus Group eLearning Course to:
Introduction to Evaluation 101
Introduction to Evaluation 101 is designed to teach you fundamental evaluation skills, allowing you to maximize the use of your evaluation and drive it home for the end user.
Purchase the Introduction to Evaluation 101 eLearning Course to:
What's new this month in the AEA Online Career Center? The following positions have been added recently:
Explore the Online Career Center
AEA would like to recognize and thank some of its most longstanding members. Click here to view individuals who are celebrating 5+, 10+, 20+, and 30+ years with the association this month!
AEA would like to welcome those who have recently joined the association. Click here to view a list of AEA's newest members.
AEA is a professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of evaluation in all its forms.
The association's mission is to:
Phone: 1-202-367-1166 or 1-888-232-2275 (U.S. and Canada only)