|Newsletter: July 2009
||Vol 9, Issue 7|
|New Avenues for Member Involvement |
I am excited to announce AEA's Member Involvement Initiative (MII). Our goals with MII are fivefold:
- To ensure that members know how they can get involved with the association,
- To expand and enhance opportunities for member input and engagement,
- To improve AEA programs and services,
- To build the knowledge and skills of member volunteers through meaningful volunteer experiences, and
- To exemplify the values of the association, welcoming and involving members at any point in their career, from any context, and representing a range of thought and approaches
What does this mean for you and for AEA?
We're expanding the ways in which members may engage with AEA and improving our communications and processes so that all members know of, and have an opportunity to participate in, leadership and volunteer opportunities. You can be involved via very time-limited tasks, or those that span several years, and you can draw on your professional expertise as well as personal passions. We'll also make sure that you know about other ways to get involved, to let your voice be heard, and to share and build upon your knowledge and skills. Some of these include:
- Advisory Councils: Advisory Councils have flexible membership, with those involved participating in a discussion group that provides input, generates ideas, and serves as a critical friend, around key initiatives.
- Task Forces: Committees, the Board, and the Executive Director all convene Task Forces to accomplish specific time- and project-defined goals.
- TIG and Affiliate Opportunities: We'll collaborate with the TIGs and Local Affiliates to identify opportunities for participation and leadership.
- One-time Engagements: Are you a concert pianist or an avid photographer? We'd love to draw on your skills at the conference. Are you an expert on a cutting-edge issue or have you found a great use for a new technology? Perhaps serving as a reviewer or facilitator is a good match for you.
In each newsletter, we'll include information about how you can get involved. This issue includes a notice about two opportunities related to the AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute. We're also completing a special section of the AEA website devoted to volunteer and leadership opportunities to which you can return at any time to see what is in the works.
In addition, every member who wishes to do so may complete a volunteer profile that shares with us your interests, skills, and availability. We'll use those profiles to connect with you regarding specific volunteer opportunities and initiatives. Don't worry, we'll never sign you up for something without your permission.
The next time you sign on to the AEA website, I encourage you to get involved and complete your volunteer profile. It will let us know about your skills, what you hope to gain from volunteering, and what types of opportunities are the very best for you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to connect with Heidi or I in the AEA office.
AEA Executive Director
|MII Update: Summer Institute Volunteer Opportunities|
In this first installment of the Member Involvement Initiative (MII) Update, we share two volunteer opportunities that may be of interest to those who wish to help chart the course for the AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute. Institute Advisory Council:
The AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute Advisory Council is an electronic discussion list comprised of people invested in the success of the Institute. The Advisory Council provides input, generates ideas, and serves as a critical friend to the Institute, its Program Co-chairs, and the AEA Executive Director around Institute content and format as well as trends in the field. The Advisory Council is not a passive list to which anyone may subscribe. Those who choose to participate should anticipate periodic email traffic and should expect to contribute to the discussion based on their knowledge, skills, and experience.
Anyone who has participated in either of the past two AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institutes, who has an interest in contributing to the Institute's success, and who is willing to share her or his opinion and knowledge, is welcome to serve on the Institute Advisory Council. The Institute Program Co-chairs may also invite key stakeholders to join the discussion. To participate, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
with "Institute Advisory Council" in the subject line. AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute AEA Program Co-chair:
The AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute AEA Program Co-chair represents the interest of AEA in Institute planning, works collaboratively with the CDC Program Co-chair and the AEA Executive Director to develop an outstanding professional development program, and serves as co-host on site at the Institute. In addition, the Co-chairs together serve as the facilitators for the Institute Advisory Council discussion list. The work of the position is conducted via phone and email and takes approximately 2-4 hours per month primarily during the period December to June, plus time on site at the Institute.
The AEA Institute Program Co-chair should have experience with the AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute either as an attendee or as a presenter, a knowledge of the breadth and depth of the field and the professional development needs of evaluators, and a vision for the event that aligns with AEA's Mission, Vision, and Values
, and demonstrates an understanding of the collaborative and co-constructed nature of the Institute and the CDC partnership.
The full details regarding this unique leadership position, including how to apply, may be found in the Request for Interest. Go to the 2009 Summer Institute Site to Learn More About the Program
|2009 Conference Program Online - Over 600 Sessions in 43 Strands |
|AEA is proud to announce that the 2009 Annual Conference Program is now online! With over 600 sessions, the 2009 program truly explores the breadth and depth of the field as well as the Presidential Strand theme of "Context and Evaluation." The program should be of interest to all evaluators, even if you are unable to attend the conference itself. It is a resource for learning about new work in the field and identifying colleagues with common interests.|
To make the most of the program, login using your username and password. This may be done from anywhere on the AEA website or right from the program search page itself. Logging in will allow you to create a custom program guide, saving those sessions of interest to you for future retrieval and reference. Don't worry, you'll still receive the hardcopy program on site if you attend the conference. However, as always, the on site program does not include the full abstracts that may be found online. The detail available in the online program allows for more in-depth exploration of the session content.
The program is searchable in multiple ways. Don't know where to start? Use the "View all Sessions" button to see a list of all 620 in order. The sponsor menu allows you to view sessions sponsored by a particular Topical Interest Group (TIG) or as part of the Presidential Strand. Want to know when you can connect with and hear AEA Treasurer Brian Yates? Put "Yates" into the last name search. Want to find all of the presentations offered by colleagues from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? Try entering "Centers for Disease" in the affiliation search.
Putting 'Informal' in the keyword search returned sessions on out-of-school programs, visitor's studies, and teaching evaluation. "Translational" gave us sessions focusing on Clinical and Translational Science. "ANOVA" returned sessions sponsored by the Quantitative TIG - but also others sponsored by the Pre-K-12 Education and the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health TIGs. "Rural" gave us over 30 hits, "International" over 50 and required search narrowing.
Take a moment to search the program to plan your conference attendance, build your professional network, or identify how to connect with colleagues. Of course, we also hope that you will join us in Orlando the week of November 9 for the AEA Annual Conference in order to attend the sessions described.
Go to the Evaluation 2010 searchable online program
|Policy Watch - Sizing Up Health Care Reform Proposals |
From George Grob, Consultant to the Evaluation Policy Task Force
As I write this article, the United States Congress is working intensely on legislation to reform our nation's health care system. The House Ways and Means Committee passed its bill
on July 17, 2009. Two other House Committees - Education and Labor, and Energy and Commerce - continue to work on theirs. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed its bill
on July 15, while the Senate Finance Committee continues to work on its bill.
Needless to say, the Evaluation Policy Task Force (EPTF) is concerned that health care reforms are systematically evaluated from the date of their enactment through the many years in which they will be in effect. The best way to make this happen is to have evaluation requirements and resources built into the new legislation. For this reason, the EPTF has sent written comments to House and Senate Committees on the emerging legislation. Copies of EPTF comments to the three House Committees and to the Senate Finance Committee can be found online on the ETPF website.
One way to think about the proposed legislation and the EPTF comments is to realize that the various bills cover two broad categories of proposals: (1) insurance reforms, such as guaranteed availability, renewability of coverage, elimination of discrimination based on health status, coverage of preventive health care, assistance for low income families, cost control, and financing; and (2) public health provisions such as those relating to quality of care, health care workforce enhancement, community health centers, women's health, immunization, and school based clinics.
What we found in reviewing the current bills is that evaluation is fully and explicitly built in to the legislation relating to the public health proposals, but to a much lesser extent in the insurance reforms. In fact, many of the evaluation provisions in the public health sections could serve as excellent models for legislation in many public laws, not just health care legislation. The health insurance sections provide oversight and evaluation through the Government Accountability Office, existing Inspectors General, or a Special Inspector General. The public health provisions reflect the growing reliance on evaluation in that field, and the insurance provisions reflect longstanding concerns about "oversight" of Medicare and Medicaid programs, including fraud, waste, and abuse.
The EPTF developed an overall evaluation framework for all
the provisions of the bills, including
- An annual national report card on our nation's health care system
- Key evaluation questions that need to be posed by the Congress
- Evaluation units designated, or if necessary established, within agencies responsible for the reforms
- Annual evaluation plans related to programs or activities covered in the bill
- Annual reports summarizing evaluation results and explaining how they were used
- A Health Care Evaluation Advisory Group with responsibility for preparing a biennial report on the state of the nation's health care system, making recommendations for the consideration of the Congress and the President; and providing non-binding advice to Federal evaluation units
|The Face of AEA - Meet Daniela Schroeter, Director of Research, WMU |
AEA's 5,700 members worldwide represent a range of backgrounds, specialties and interest areas. Join us as we profile a different member each month via our Question and Answer column. This month's profile spotlights a member who first joined as a student and now actively serves on multiple fronts.
Daniela Schroeter, Western Michigan University (WMU) Professional Position:
Director of Research, The Evaluation CenterDegrees:
Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Evaluation (WMU), M.A. in German as a Foreign/Second Language, Intercultural Business Communication, American Studies (Friedrich Schiller University, Jena Germany)Years in the Evaluation Field:
Former Program Chair, Graduate Student and New Evaluators TIG; Current Program Co-Chair, Business and Industry TIG; Member of Social Program Task Force and Annual Conference Policy Committee Why do you belong to AEA?
"AEA membership provides opportunities to learn through its annual conference and its publications. It's a means to network with the evaluation community nationally and internationally. It provides an opportunity to contribute to evaluation."
Why do you choose to work in the field of evaluation?
"In my previous life, I have been involved in student evaluation and software evaluation. When I arrived here in the United States, I took an evaluation course and I knew this was what I wanted to do. Evaluation provides a good means for helping programs to improve, thus enables social betterment." What's the most memorable or meaningful evaluation that you have been a part of - and why?
"Working under Michael Scriven on an impact evaluation in international development. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with him and it's amazing to see how theory can be translated into practice in real-life settings with real-world limitations and what evaluation can do in the real sense." What advice would you give to those new to the field?
"The longer I am in the field of evaluation, the more I see the difference between research and evaluation; what you can do in a true research setting differs from true evaluation settings. It's very important to learn as much as possible about what an ideal evaluation might be and how you can put those ideals into the real-life context with all its associated limitations, yet still maximize the quality of evaluation. I think that's the most important thing to learn in evaluation." Why did you choose to become involved in AEA at the committee and Board levels?
"I fell into the role initially. Jane Davidson asked me to take care of the graduate student listserv. Once I was engaged, I wanted to stay engaged. It is important that some people feel responsible for the TIGs and also contribute to the annual conference."
If you know someone who represents The Face of AEA, send recommendations to email@example.com
|Fifth Cohort of Graduate Students Celebrate Completion of Internships|
|The American Evaluation Association/Duquesne University Graduate Education Diversity Internship Program (AEA/DU GEDIP) saw its fifth cohort of students graduate during June's AEA/CDC Summer Institute in Atlanta. The commencement ceremony served to celebrate both the students' completion of their one-year internship as well as the end of a cycle and the beginning of another as the internship program itself changed administrative hands after five years of bringing graduate students from underrepresented communities into the field of evaluation.|
The event was well attended by champions of the program, past and aspiring alumni, staff, faculty, mentors, advisors, and friends. Ricardo Millett, from Ricardo Millett and Associates, a past Director of Evaluation at the Kellogg Foundation and supporter of the program from its inception, provided a moving commencement speech designed to remind graduating students of the work of all those evaluators from underrepresented communities that have preceded them, and whose accomplishments have set the road to follow and form the foundation on which the program stands. Rodney Hopson, Director of AEA/DU GEDIP for the last five years, preceded Millett with words that celebrated the achievement of past interns and current graduates, thanked those who contributed to the program's success, and introduced the new leadership team that will be taking over the program for the 2009-2010 class.
The 2008-2009 GEDIP Graduates are:
- Asma Ali, University of Illinois at Chicago
- Wanda Casillas, Cornell University
- Brandi Gilbert, University of Colorado at Boulder
- Ricardo Gomez, University of Massachusetts
- Donna Parrish, Clark Atlanta University
- Syreeta Skelton, Georgia State University
- Cynthia Williams, Georgia State University
To reach this point, the graduates have completed a number of requirements including a nine-month placement at an evaluation agency in their geographical areas, an evaluation report as a result of this placement, attendance at two 3-4 day seminars as well as the AEA conference in the fall and the Summer Institute in June, and numerous assignments throughout the year designed to maximize their learning experience.
Please join us in congratulating this year's graduating class, and stay tuned to learn more about the new 2009-2010 program directors and their plans.
Go to the GEDIP Website
|Post a Job - or Find a Job - at AEA's Online Career Center |
|From LaMarcus Bolton, AEA Technology Director
Perform a web search for the keyword "jobs" and you're likely to see sites such as Careerbuilder.com, Monster.com, and Indeed.com. However, such job search engines are a double-edged sword. Their extensiveness is great when an individual is just trying to land a job; however, when dealing with specialized fields such as evaluation, they may not be the most ideal mediums. Search results on these large repositories reveal hundreds, if not thousands, of listings that simply include the keyword "evaluation," which may or may not be relevant.
In order to help address the needs of both applicants seeking out evaluation-specific positions, as well as employers wishing to find ideal job candidates, AEA maintains both a job and resume bank via our online career center. You do not need to be an AEA member to use the services provided in the career center, although member resumes in the resume bank are denoted with a special AEA icon and show employers a commitment to evaluation. We add new jobs daily and include the most recent job openings in each newsletter.
As an employer, the career center offers two ways to seek out new talent. You may submit a job opening to be posted, which includes the position title, location, posting end date, any keywords that may be useful in searching for the position, and a short description of the position. You may also seek out job candidates by searching through the extensive list of resumes of individuals currently in the job market. This is especially useful when an employer already knows which competencies she or he wishes to search.
Additionally, the AEA career center may be particularly valuable for those seeking new employment - whether you are a graduate student entering the workforce for the first time or a seasoned professional wishing to undertake new endeavors. Specifically, you can peruse our large database of available openings, as well as post your resume or curriculum vitae to alert prospective employers as to what type of position you are looking for. This way, employers can contact you if and when a position opens that matches what you have in mind.
Because we realize that it can be tedious and time-consuming to check employment websites daily for new openings, AEA offers the option of subscribing to automated notices of new job listings via email or RSS feed. Doing so ensures that you're kept abreast of all recently submitted updates.
If you run into any issues or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go to the AEA Online Career Center
|New Jobs & RFPs from the AEA Career Center |
What's new this month in the AEA Online Career Center? The following positions and Requests for Proposals (RFPs) have been added recently:
- Senior Research and Evaluation Associate at Tipping Point Community (San Francisco, CA)
- Assistant to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
Evaluation (OECD) Coordinator at OECD (Paris, France)
- Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at General Board of Global Ministries (New York, NY)
- Strategic Data Fellow at Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA)
- Research Social Scientist - Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International (Menlo Park, CA)
- Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at International Training & Education Center on Health (I-TECH) (Gaborone, Botswana)
- Energy Program Evaluation Analyst at SAIC (Washington, DC)
- Research Assistant at Rockman et al (Bloomington, IN)
- Director of Research at Girls Incorporated (Indianapolis, IN)
- Senior Research and Development Specialist at Edvantia Inc. (Charleston, WV)
Descriptions for each of these positions, and many others, are available in the AEA Online Career Center. According to Google analytics, the Career Center received over 4000 unique visitors in the past month. It is an outstanding resource for posting your resume or position, or for finding your next employer, contractor or employee.
Job hunting? You can also sign up to receive notifications of new position postings via email or RSS feed.
Go to the AEA Online Career Center
|Research in Education: Evidence-Based Inquiry |
AEA member James McMillan has co-authored two new books. Research in Education: Evidence-Based Inquiry
and Understanding and Evaluating Educational Research
are both published by Prentice Hall/Pearson Education.
From the Publisher's Website:
"Research in Education
emphasizes evidence-based inquiry while providing a comprehensive, highly accessible, and student-friendly introduction to the principles, concepts, and methods currently used in educational research. Introductory chapters provide an introduction to research and research problems, major types of research designs, and the review of literature. Methodological chapters provide explicit guidelines for consuming and conducting qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, and action research. Many examples and article excerpts are used throughout the text to demonstrate and highlight best practices in educational research and to provide a basis for student review and critique." From the Author:
"I initiated this book out of a need I saw to present principles of research to educators in a concise manner with nontechnical language, to include qualitative approaches to research, and with excerpts from published articles to illustrate concepts and ideas. Our first edition, published about 25 years ago, was the first educational research textbook to include qualitative methods. The most rewarding aspect of doing the book is that students find it understandable and they feel a sense of achievement in what may have been feared or put off to the end of their program. The most recent edition continues a very strong emphasis in qualitative methods (now up to three chapters), 80 excerpts from many different journals, with new chapters on mixed-method and action research. Most important, we have worked hard to keep the writing style consistent with our initial goal - writing in a way students find engaging with easily understood presentations, examples, and explanations. "
A companion book, Understanding and Evaluating Educational Research
(4th Edition) contains research articles that are critiqued to help students see how research is presented and to enhance their confidence in being able to read primary studies. About the Author:
James H. McMillan, is a professor and Chair of the Foundations of Education Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, where he teaches educational research and assessment courses. He also directs the Research and Evaluation Track of the Ph.D. in education program as well as the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium. His current research interests include classroom and large-scale assessment. Go to the Publisher's Website
|The Road to Results|
|AEA members Linda G. Morra Imas and Ray C. Rist have co-authored a new book published by World Bank Publications. The Road to Results: Designing and Conducting Effective Development Evaluations was released in June.|
From the Publisher's Website:
This comprehensive text is an essential tool for those involved in development evaluation. It presents concepts and procedures for evaluation in a development context. It provides procedures and examples on how to set up a monitoring and evaluation system, how to conduct participatory evaluations and do social mapping, and how to construct a "rigorous" quasi-experimental design to answer an impact question.
From the Authors:
"This book is intended as a tool for use related to the challenges of building capacity in development evaluation. Development evaluation is an emerging area of inquiry. Difficult in the best of circumstances, think about evaluation when government data systems are weak or non-existent, corruption of information for political ends is a way of life, information gaps are the norm, there is no assurance that any of the information is reliable, and few staff trained in evaluation are available. The building of evaluation capacity is a major challenge facing most developing countries, and it has been deepened by a lack of tools for assisting the effort. We wrote this book to provide the first comprehensive text in designing and conducting effective development evaluations.
About the Authors:
Linda G. Morra Imas and Ray C. Rist both recently retired from the World Bank, continue to consult and remain active in the field. The Road to Results is a fitting collaboration that comes at the apex of their careers. The book grew from their creating, directing, and teaching for the past nine years, the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) sponsored by the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank in collaboration with the Faculty of Public Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. "Thousands of participants have now been trained at IPDET or "mini-IPDETs" around the world," say the authors, "but until we wrote and published this book, we struggled to find an appropriate textbook with a clear emphasis on development. We are proud that through this text, many more of those working in development will have the generic tools to produce strong evaluations of development results."
Go to the Publisher's Website
|The American Evaluation Association is an international professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of evaluation in all its forms.
The American Evaluation Association's mission is to:
- Improve evaluation practices and methods
- Increase evaluation use
- Promote evaluation as a profession and
- Support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action.
phone: 1-508-748-3326 or 1-888-232-2275