Monday, January 30, 2023
I’m thrilled to serve as the American Evaluation's (AEA) 37th President and - with so many others - continue the good work of our association and its past leadership.
I want to thank our immediate Past President Veronica Olazabal and outgoing board members Thomas Grayson, Karen Jackson, Tom Kelly, and Libby Smith for their instrumental work on behalf of the association. Their contributions will continue to influence AEA’s work as we welcome new President-Elect Felicia Bohanon, Treasurer Tom Chapel, and members-at-large Kerry Bruce, Sebastian Lemire, and Cynthia Phillips onto the board.
I envision 2023 as a year invigorating board members as decision-making leaders, working to fulfill our outstanding duties around Policy Based Governance, and moving important AEA projects forward. Membership engagement is an important part of what AEA does, and the efforts of members are integral to how AEA functions. Thank you for your work in your local affiliate organizations, with TIGs, and on AEA’s Working Groups and Task Forces. If one of your resolutions for 2023 is to get more involved in the evaluation community, I encourage you to consider finding a new avenue to participate - maybe as a conference reviewer, TIG leader, or member of a Task Force or Working Group. More information about these opportunities can be found at https://www.eval.org/Community/Volunteer.
I hope you will take a minute today to mark your calendars for the 2023 conference, taking place October 9 - 14 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The theme of EVALUATION 2023 is “The Power of Story.” Humans are wired for storytelling. It’s a way to make sense of the world, convey our experiences to others, and build shared realities. The specific relationship between story and evaluation looks different across theoretical frameworks, between methodologies, and in different evaluators’ experiences - I can’t wait to see what our members will share in Indianapolis!
See you there,
Why do you belong to AEA?
The AEA is the leading evaluation organization in the world, and other countries and continents have benefited enormously from the AEA as a shining example and a beacon for progress. AEA members have consistently worked within AEA and abroad to help develop this standing of the AEA and to contribute to the founding of a truly international evaluation body for the world within which AEA will play an important role. At this time of world pandemic and economic crisis when severe pressures are being placed on human services all over the world, the AEA can play an important role in helping countries to make informed decisions based on real-time data analysis of what works and in what contexts to develop effective human services.
Why do you choose to work in the field of evaluation?
Evaluation is the best way to make a difference in the world. I am President of Realist Evaluation Inc., and have been Director of Program Evaluation Center at State University of New York at Fredonia; I have had similar positions at University at Buffalo (The State University of New York), and University of Huddersfield, since 1991. I have extensive experience of evaluation of human services in the USA, United Kingdom, and in Finland. As a lead evaluator of Chautauqua Tapestry System of Care, I received the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ Administration (SAMHSA)’s Gold Award for Outstanding Local Evaluation in July 2010. My books include ‘Realist Evaluation in Practice’ (2003, Sage) and ‘International Perspectives on Evidence-based Practice in Social Work’ (with Bruce Thyer, 2004, Venture Press). I also use the same approach in the city of Manchester (UK). I was awarded the honor of joining the inaugural class of Fellows of the Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR) at its 2014 Annual Awards Presentation. My publications include Single-Case Evaluation by Social Workers (Ashgate, 1998) and Realist Evaluation in Practice (Sage, 2003).
What's the most memorable or meaningful evaluation that you have been a part of?
As lead evaluator of Chautauqua Tapestry System of Care and receiving the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ Administration (SAMHSA)’s Gold Award for Outstanding Local Evaluation in July 2010. This realist evaluation approach was used extensively in the evaluation of the SAMHSA System of Care Grant in Chautauqua County ($9 million, 2008-2015; $4 million, 2015-2019). Throughout Chautauqua County (NY) I have helped agencies to use the data on ALL service users in a realist evaluation, to inform what works and for whom in a system of care. Data from schools, mental health, and other services was analyzed quarterly, and data analysis methods drawn from a combination of epidemiology and effectiveness research were used in naturally occurring quasi-experimental designs (e.g. including all school youth) and logistic regression models to investigate if the comprehensive array of services and supports were working to provide better outcomes for youth and families. I also used the same approach in the city of Manchester (UK).
What advice would you give to those new to the field?
Come and attend all the AEA conferences, meetings, webinars, and other activities. The AEA can make a bigger contribution in providing evaluation resources and promoting evaluation, and you can do your best to help AEA to enhance evaluation all over the world. The integration of evaluation and environment is important for each country, helping to develop a diverse society free from discrimination. Timely use of the data is critical in targeting and developing human services and American Evaluation Association has been a world leader in working towards a just society.
Anything additional you would like to share with the AEA community?
Most evaluators have the data and the opportunity to contribute to the common good and advancement of an equitable and just society, not only in the USA but all over the world, and we can ensure that this and the other guiding principles of the AEA make an international contribution for all!
Please join us for a Cross-TIG Discussion on “Decolonization” on Tuesday, January 31, 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. EST. Decolonization of evaluation is the new buzzword coming out of Evaluation 2022. We know post Eval22 that the concept remains confusing and controversial to some. Is it a part of AEA competency standards about respect, beneficence, and justice, or is it something more “values-based” that is separate from data, or perhaps a type of practice related to localization and indigenous and/or participatory evaluation related to ways of knowing and evidence generation (or something else)? Despite the “buzziness,” it has a lofty and honorable mandate that is both related to our knowledge base as evaluators and how we engage in contexts where we need to acknowledge power relations. For this reason, evaluators across the sector are struggling with defining and prescribing actionable ways to apply approaches to achieve that aim.
The ICCE, DRG, and Government TIG are co-hosting this cross-TIG event for its members to reflect on common challenges and opportunities.
Each TIG will brainstorm potential pathways to improving practices toward decolonization, share out with the other TIGs for input, and have a draft tentative Year-1 Roadmap for Instituting Decolonization of Evaluation in their sectors.
Please come with your questions and recommendations and join us for conversation and partnership on this important issue!
The Disaster and Emergency Management Evaluation TIG of the AEA is hosting a quarterly speaker series in 2023 to spark discussion, promote successes, and share resources and methodology about topics related to disaster and emergency management evaluation.
As the humanitarian relief and development arm of the United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) implements relief, recovery, and development projects in 48 countries globally, with significant funding designated for disasters within the US and its territories. Dr. Maureen Kperogi will critically examine evaluations in various FEMA-declared disasters that UMCOR funded. Discussions will center on the importance of (1) the equitable access to resources that vulnerable populations need, (2) strategies for weaving evaluation into the creation of programs and other organizational initiatives, and (3) strategies to promote equitable participation in the evaluation process.
Join us on Monday, February 27 from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. EST. This event is free and open for anybody to join!
Someone said it best during one of our coffee chat reflection sessions: “TIGs are how you find your people at the American Evaluation Association (AEA). It’s how you make this 5500+ member organization a professional home. And there is something for everyone in the family!”
So….what is a Topical Interest Group (TIG) and why should you join one today? The AEA Topical Interest Groups are the heart and soul of AEA. Each TIG is defined around a special topic or interest and creates a forum whereby the knowledge, experience, and skills of each member can become a resource that the entire community can leverage. Joining a TIG is an exclusive benefit to AEA membership and is your ticket to a community of experts who share similar backgrounds and work settings.
AEA members may now join as many TIGs as they wish (previously capped at five per member). Although there is no longer a limit of how many TIGs you may join, we recommend you limit your membership to five in order to maintain appropriate involvement. Joining a TIG is easy and can be managed here. Simply log in and join the TIGs that best suit your interests.
TIG members will receive updates from their TIG via email directly from the community discussion forums. To manage your email preferences and frequency login here, navigate to your profile (top right corner of the screen), and manage your community notifications under ‘My Account’.
Not sure if a particular TIG is a right fit for you? While selecting from 60 TIGs sounds like a lot, there are a few great ways to get your feet wet before hitting the join button.
Through our TIGs you have access to a network of professionals for collaboration on ideas and practices and a well of invaluable knowledge on topic areas that may be of interest to you. Your participation is based on your availability, and there is no specific obligation associated with your TIG membership. Some TIGs are very active, with vibrant online discussion lists, resource websites, and special networking events, while others tend to focus their efforts around the AEA annual conference. Being active in a TIG allows you to increase your depth of knowledge in a specific area as well as pursue volunteer leadership opportunities.
For up-to-date news on events, webinars, training, and job opportunities in international evaluation, sign up for the Peregrine listserv hosted by EvalPartners.
Thank you for taking the time to vote for your 2023-2025 AEA Board leadership. The race was close and we're certain the choice between all of the talented candidates was not an easy decision to make. It is with great pleasure that we share with you the outcome of the 2022 election for the AEA Board of Directors.
AEA Board Member-at-Large
* The race for President-Elect between Felicia Bohanon and Wanda Casillas resulted in a tie. In the event of a tie, Section 2C of Article VI of AEA's governing policy manual states:
The candidate for each office receiving the largest number of votes shall be considered elected. In case of a tie, the Board of Directors shall select the officer from the tied candidates by majority vote or, in the case of a tie on the Board, by lot.
A confidential Board runoff vote was conducted by our vendor, Vote Now, per the above policy to determine the President-Elect. Candidate Felicia Bohanon was asked to recuse herself from the vote as a sitting Board Officer.
The election was open from November 4 through December 1 and received 957 votes (18.1% response rate).
Congratulations to our newest AEA Board Directors and thank you to those who took the time to vote! You can learn more about the election history here.
AEA is pleased to share the transition of AEA365 to a new RSS and email service provider, Follow.it. AEA365’s previous email and RSS provider, Feedburner (powered by Google), has quietly been ending its maintenance of the product and its features over the course of 2022. With that, we’ve been working tirelessly behind the scenes to transition to a great new service that would still deliver the features you have come to know and love. Enter Follow.it!
If you were previously receiving daily emails from the blog, you will begin receiving them again via email notifications from a Follow.it affiliated email address. Emails will resemble the below image with options to edit the frequency by which you receive emails and the format.
What do I have to do next? Absolutely nothing! This transition is designed to be seamless. No additional subscription action is required of you at this time but please do report any abnormalities in the receipt of these regular notifications to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to explore additional subscription options (like subscribing to the blog comments), visit the subscription options under the Take Action toolbar on the right side of the blog here.
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Thank you for your continued support of aea365 and your patience as we transitioned to this new service.
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This year AEA is hosting its very own Inaugural U.S. Student Evaluation Case Competition! This competition will take place on June 3, 2023. Interested in participating? Great news! We are recruiting for both student teams and judges. Form your own team of 3-5 students or volunteer as a judge! Students will build an evaluation plan in response to a real word case of a non-profit seeking an evaluation, and submit it for judging. Judges will review the evaluation plans and provide feedback. Prizes will be available for the winning team. Make sure you do not miss out on this amazing opportunity!
See more information on the competition here!
AEA SECC Flyer
Registration Deadline: April 28, 2023
Registration Deadline: March 1, 2023
Questions? Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AEA representative to the IOCE works with IOCE colleagues while representing a stance in alignment with AEA's mission, vision, and values. The representative acts independently yet brings questions or concerns back to the AEA Board. The IOCE representative submits a written report to the Board on the IOCE’s activities and relevant international evaluation issues each fall. AEA’s representative to the IOCE is also a member of the Management Group of the EvalPartners coalition. The representative will serve a three-year term beginning March 15, 2023 (delayed this year) and ending December 31, 2025.
If you are interested in being considered as AEA's representative to the IOCE, please compile the following into a single file and submit it by Friday, February 10, 2023.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact AEA Executive Director Anisha Lewis at email@example.com.
The AEA and SAGE Publications are pleased to honor the winners of the Excellence in Reviewing Award, sponsored by SAGE Publications and AEA.
The winners are recognized for their work in reviewing submissions to the American Journal of Evaluation.
New Directions for Evaluation (NDE), one of the AEA'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.
To show our appreciation to you, our valued member, the AEA is offering a 20% discount on membership dues. Renew today through February 28 to take advantage of this exclusive deal.
Check your inbox from an email from AEA for the discount code to save 20% at checkout. AEA members can renew their membership at any point throughout the year, so this deal can be applied to all members. View details of this promotion here, and contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
The Evaluation 2022 recordings are now available! Attendees: Check your inbox for an email from the AEA on how to accept. Non-attendees: Purchase the recordings in the Digital Knowledge Hub.
As a reminder, the AEA will not be hosting the in-person Summer Evaluation Institute in 2023. Instead, we are bringing back the Summer Series. The Summer Series consists of in-depth virtual workshops that will be held between June and August of 2023.
This virtual format allows more of our community to participate in important workshops.
The Summer Series will feature interactive, training workshops with a focus on the diverse issues and trends unique to evaluation professionals. These workshops have a limited capacity, allowing for an intimate classroom learning experience.
Stay tuned for more information.
Help wanted: We need your help to disseminate this request for information for public comments from anyone interested in providing feedback on the CDC Evaluation Framework.
The flexibility and simplicity of the CDC Evaluation Framework have led to its wide adoption and use beyond CDC and public health. The CDC Evaluation Framework has guided CDC and other evaluators over two decades, as evidenced by more than 300 citations in peer-reviewed articles and use in projects reaching more than 50 countries on six continents. However, evaluation has evolved since the publication of the framework in 1999; therefore, CDC seeks to update the framework to align with changes in evaluation, public health, and federal policies and practices. Given the widespread use of the Evaluation Framework within and outside of the CDC, we are gathering insights from various user groups through several methods. Feedback from these sources will be considered in determining priority areas to update and revise in the CDC Evaluation Framework to continue its valuable use and service to the evaluation field and public health.
By Monday, January 30, 2023, please submit written views, information, and recommendations for both the questions posed in RFI and suggestions for improving the CDC Evaluation Framework.
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:
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