Newsletter: August 2009 Vol 9, Issue 8

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2009 Election Results

rogDear AEA Members - Happy Summer to all!  With AEA's online election ending July 17 (thanks to those who participated!), congratulations are in order for AEA's 2011 President as well as three new board members at large. They are: 
 
2011 AEA President

  • Jennifer Greene (Illinois) 

AEA Board Members at Large

  • Stewart Donaldson (California)
  • Tristi Nichols (New York)
  • Patricia Rogers (Melbourne)
Greene, Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been an active member of AEA since its inception. She has served as co-editor-in-chief of New Directions for Evaluation, on AEA's Awards Committee and as a previous board member, and is the 2003 recipient of AEA's Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award, for contributions to evaluation theory. A frequent contributor to the evaluation literature, she has more than 30 years of experience in evaluation and is as excited about the future of the field as when she "stumbled into" it some three decades ago.

"I have since experienced its rapid evolution, explosive theoretical multiplicity, and engaging internal debates. I have experienced evaluation's development both as an independent form of disciplined social inquiry and as an instrument of government and private enterprise. And I have participated in the ongoing conversations regarding evaluation's status as a technical activity, as a service industry, and as a catalyst for the public good. These conversations continue to enliven my thinking and challenge my practice... AEA remains in a strong position to continue to develop and strengthen networks of evaluators and evaluation societies across sectors, domains of practice, and national borders. And I would be honored to be a steward of the health and vitality of AEA as we collectively pursue the advancement of our craft and its contributions of consequence to the contexts in which we work."
 
Donaldson is the Dean of the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University, Professor and Chair of Psychology, and Director of its Institute of Organizational and Program Evaluation Research. He is an avid writer/author, and has built a career as an evaluation practitioner, professional development trainer, professor of evaluation, and leader of university-based evaluation training programs. "My experiences and travels to teach evaluation around the world have made it clear to me that AEA is an important partner in the successful globalization of evaluation."

Nichols is an independent, international consultant now with Manitou, Inc., whose recent work has been concentrated in the United Nations. The bulk of her experience is with non-governmental organizations in Africa, and Eastern Europe examining basic human service outcomes. "There are new demands within the program evaluation practice, requiring evaluators to think critically and creatively, utilize systematic methodological skills, exercise a gender, cultural and human rights lens, and adapt quickly to multiple organizational contexts. In my role as an AEA board member, I would remind other members of the importance and need for professional development and gender equity nationally and internationally."
 
Rogers is a Professor in Public Sector Evaluation and leader of the research program in Evidence Based Policy and Practice at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. She has served as Associate Editor of New Directions in Evaluation, member of the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Evaluation, and is the 2007 recipient of AEA's Myrdal Award for Evaluation Practice. "Above all, I bring an interest in supporting the many different types of evaluation undertaken by AEA members. In 2001 the American Journal of Evaluation published a special issue on the future of evaluation. My paper, The Whole World is Evaluating Half-Full Glasses, outlined a vision for evaluation in 2010 where we were learning from different disciplines, regions and stakeholders how to do evaluation in ways that adequately represent the strengths and limitations of the interventions being evaluated and of our methods of evaluation, and through this were contributing to better outcomes for the world. 2010 begins next year."
 
AEA's new officers will be sworn in at our annual conference in Orlando this fall. If you know them, take a moment to welcome them aboard as critical decision makers for our association. And if you have not met them, take time out during our busy conference to attend their official swearing-in. They will begin their 3-year Board terms in January.  
 
Deb

Debra Rog
AEA President
In This Issue
Policy Watch with George Grob
Patrick Grasso New EPTF Chair
Member Profile: Anane Olatunji
New TIG for Social Network Analysis
Workshops at Evaluation 2009
Volunteering With AEA
TechTalk with LaMarcus Bolton
New Jobs Postings
Book: Developing a Learning Culture in Nonprofit Organizations
Book: Are We There Yet?
H-PEA Conference in September
OPEN Conference October 2
Get Involved
About Us
Quick Links
Policy Watch - Science and Technology Priorities 
From George Grob, Consultant to the Evaluation Policy Task Force
 
GrobEvaluation will be an essential ingredient in meeting the President's science and technology priorities. That is the message that comes through loud and clear in an August 4 memorandum for the heads of Executive Departments and Agencies issued jointly by Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and John Holdren, Director, Office of Science and Technology. 
 
After describing what it will take to address the practical challenges of developing research and technology policies and programs that address the economy, energy dependence, global warming, green jobs, health and health care costs, and national security, the memorandum immediately puts evaluation at center stage. The opening words of the program guidance section are:
 
"In their budget submissions, agencies should describe the expected outcomes from their research in relation to these four practical challenges and cross-cutting areas, providing quantitative metrics where possible, and describe how they plan to evaluate the success of various techniques to increase support for high-risk research.
 
"Budget submissions should also describe how agencies are strengthening their capacity to rigorously evaluate their programs to determine what has been demonstrated to work and what has not."
 
The guidance sees evaluation as a tool to enable ". . . agencies to eliminate or reduce funding for less-effective, lower-quality, or lower-priority programs . . ." as well as ". . . target investments toward high-performing programs."
 
This language is heartening in that it is generally consistent with the principles described in An Evaluation Roadmap for a More Effective Government that three AEA Presidents sent to Peter Orszag in February. We are continuing to stay in touch with OMB staff on how evaluation can be made an essential element of governance. Hopefully, future budget guidance documents will also make the kind of strong connection between evaluation and policymaking as this one does.
Meanwhile, evaluators will have to deliver on their end, working with program managers to:
  • Choose appropriate metrics and evaluation methods
  • Apply those methods and metrics to both current and evolving policies and programs
  • Assess the results of science and technology policies that are implemented in more than one place within a single lab, agency, or firm
  • Measure success not only at the program level, but also in terms of the influence of science and technology on the four practical challenges described at the beginning of the memorandum
  • Report successes, failures, and unexpected consequences of research and new technologies
  • Interpret evaluation results in terms of their ramifications for programs.

Hopefully, evaluators will rise to meet the challenges posed in this directive.

Go to the Evaluation Policy Task Force website to learn more

Patrick Grasso Named New Evaluation Policy Task Force Chair
Grasso
Patrick Grasso has been named the new chair of the Evaluation Policy Task Force (EPTF). Grasso was selected as EPTF chair based on his extensive experience in evaluation at the federal level and in international institutions. He follows Bill Trochim, who recently completed a two-year term as EPTF Chair. Grasso has been a participant on the Evaluation Policy Task Force since its creation in 2007. He brings to the post more than 30 years of experience - 20 at the management level - in evaluation, knowledge management, and partnerships with bilateral and multilateral development organizations.
 
Grasso has been with the World Bank for more than a decade and currently serves as advisor and consultant to the Director-General of the Independent Evaluation Group. He also served as Director of Evaluation and Learning Resources with the Pew Charitable Trusts, one of the largest U.S. private foundations, and spent more than a decade with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, where he directed interdisciplinary teams conducting evaluations in a variety of substantive areas, including grant making, community and economic development and governance issues. He has worked directly with Congressional and executive agency staff to identify evaluation issues, key questions, data sources and other resources. Results included substantial changes in grant review processes at NSF, NIH and NEH, and improvements in subsidized housing and community development programs. More recently he has helped to develop evaluation policies for international development organizations.
 
"There's an enormous demand around the world for professional evaluation of public programs," says Grasso. "I believe this is an opportunity to strengthen evaluation systems leading to improved government performance. Under Bill Trochim's leadership, the EPTF has made major strides in this direction, and in the next two years we hope to build on this success by helping to develop sound evaluation policies in a wide range of domains, from health and education to environment and economic development, among others."
 
During its first two years of operations, the EPTF laid the groundwork for influencing the formation of policies on matters affecting the practice of evaluation by directly engaging Federal policy makers on major legislative and administrative matters and publishing papers describing and promoting important evaluation policies. An Evaluation Roadmap for a More Effective Government was sent to the Office of Management and Budget earlier this year and articulates principles and suggests concrete actions that can be taken to make evaluation an essential and abiding ingredient of effective governance. A Policy Watch column that focuses on EPTF work of note appears monthly in AEA's member newsletter and is among its more popular offerings. Stay tuned for other developments!
 
Meet Anane Olatunji -  Program Evaluation Specialist 
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 active in educational evaluation.   
 
Anane
Name, Affiliation: Anane Olatunji, Fairfax County Public Schools (Falls Church, VA)
Professional Position: Program Evaluation Specialist
Degrees: Doctorate in Sociology (Tulane University), Masters in Education (Columbia University), Bachelors in Sociology (Harvard University)
Years in the Evaluation Field: Since 2000
Joined AEA: 2004
AEA Leadership: Program Co-Chair, PreK-12 Educational Evaluation TIG
 
Why do you belong to AEA?
"I have found it to be an excellent vehicle for networking in the field of evaluation as well as professional development. My initial experience was that I very much remember it as a warm, hospitable, open professional meeting environment. I found it easy to meet people. I attended the professional development workshops and they were super. Those two things really drew me in."
 
Why do you choose to work in the field of evaluation?
"I chose to work in the field because it allowed me to address my interest in improving educational programs. And I very much enjoy doing it by applying a scientific approach and research methods. It allows me to accomplish my end goal of improving educational programs."
 
What's the most memorable or meaningful evaluation that you have been a part of - and why?
"I was the external evaluator in 2004 of a multi-site evaluation in southeast Louisiana. It involved seven high schools. I had to pull together a team of people to accomplish the job. It was a federally funded grant of more than $3.5 million. The project lasted four years. For the first two years, I was a research assistant, but because of my performance, when the lead evaluator left, the client offered me the job. The evaluation served the purposes of compliance and also program improvement. I felt I provided information that helped the program's agency as well as the schools involved. For example, teachers found that students did much better in mathematics than in language arts on state assessments, and we traced that gap to professional development opportunities. Of course, on the other hand, helping the client to stay out of hot water and in good standing with the Department of Education, the funding source, also was an honor. For all these reasons, the evaluation was definitely a memorable experience for me."
 
What advice would you give to those new to the field?
1)  Definitely I'd say try to determine what you want to do with evaluation and why you want to do it.  Be clear about what you want to do and why. Seek a program that allows you to accomplish both.
2)  Network with other evaluators in the field.
3)  And join AEA. I am not kidding at all. I found AEA a great place to get my foot in the door. I continue to enjoy the workshops as well as the networking. 
 
If you know someone who represents The Face of AEA, send recommendations to [email protected].
AEA Welcomes New Social Network Analysis in Evaluation TIG
AEA has established its 43rd topical interest group. The Social Network Analysis in Evaluation TIG (SNA) is designed to provide a structure and conduit for sharing knowledge about Social Network Analysis, a methodology for studying relational or relationship data and in understanding and applying the methodology within a variety of contexts.

Maryann Durland, SNA TIG Chair, says 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 individuals.
 
"SNA use in evaluation has increased significantly over the last 12 years from one session at AEA in 1996 to over  15 in 2008. In addition, the relatively young field of SNA in Evaluation practice has been expanding and is a very dynamic area for theory and research. AEA's New Directions in Evaluation Vol 107, was devoted to SNA. The TIG will help to increase awareness of applications of SNA in evaluation; this interest is concurrently evolving in other disciplines and fields as well."

The SNA in Evaluation TIG will provide a mechanism for communicating and disseminating professional information though a listserv, and will provide a focal point for collecting and synthesizing evaluation applications of SNA on the AEA TIG website. The SNA TIG will also provide a venue for focusing attention on the methodology and applications as an area of professional development.
 
The Social Network Analysis in Evaluation TIG was created:
  • To promote and increase the use of SNA approaches in evaluation applications
  • To improve the application of SNA methods in evaluation
  • To support the contributions of evaluators who use SNA
  • To contribute to the generation of theory and knowledge of SNA

The TIG will be a resource to new users of SNA as well as those who have already been applying SNA in evaluation. The TIG will provide a forum for members to develop skills and knowledge, to generate innovative ideas related to SNA, and to serve as a conduit for outreach to related professional organizations.

The TIG will foster association leadership and will provide an avenue for opportunities for collaborative research and the application of SNA in evaluation. The TIG will also serve a major role in the AEA annual programming as a primary vehicle for organizing and sponsoring conference sessions related to SNA.

For more information about the SNA TIG, contact [email protected]. Or join the TIG online on the AEA website. Sign in using your AEA username and password. You can then update your member profile to include the SNA TIG as one of your five TIG memberships.
 
Your username is:
Your password is:
New Workshops - Innovative Offerings at Evaluation 2009 
Hands-on, interactive Professional Development Workshops precede and follow the AEA Annual Conference and provide an opportunity to learn new skills or hone existing ones. This year we have two-day, one-day, and half-day workshops that offer an in-depth exploration of a skill or area of knowledge of use to evaluators.
 
Our tried and true offerings are back, as well as some of the most well-known names in the field. You can refine your quantitative and qualitative skills, explore theory to practice issues, or improve your consulting practice. Most conference attendees register for one or more workshops as part of their conference experience and workshop enrollment is a key way to maximize your travel and time investment, and return home with knowledge and skills readily applicable to your practice or studies. You can also attend a workshop or two even if you do not attend the conference itself.
 
We are excited about the new workshops added this year to the selections for Evaluation 2009! Those new to the lineup include:  
  • Ethical and Inclusive Excellence Imperatives in a Globalizing World: An Integral Evaluator Model with Hazel Symonette
  • Exploratory Evaluation Approaches with Joe Wholey
  • Purposeful Program Theory with Patricia Rogers
  • Reconceptualizing Evaluation with Michael Scriven
  • Sailing the 7 C's of Social Change: A Framework for Evaluating Social Change and Systems Change Initiatives with Marah Moore
  • Social Network Analysis Methods for Program Monitoring and Evaluation with Gene Ann Shelley and Holly Fisher
Full descriptions for these workshops, as well as for the remaining 46, may be found on the AEA conference website. Workshops fill on a first-come, first-served basis and many will fill well in advance of the conference. Workshop registration may be done as part of conference registration and, even when not attending the conference, is done using the conference registration forms. We hope to see you in Orlando the week of November 9 at one of AEA's great professional development workshops!
 
Go to the Evaluation 2009 searchable online program
Volunteering With AEA
Looking for ways to get involved in the life of the association? AEA's new Member Involvement Initiative (MII) has the following updates:
 
Evaluation 2009 Nights Out Event Hosts: Do you like to meet and greet? Are you socially inclined? A favorite highlight of AEA's annual conference is its Thursday evening Nights Out events, which offer a variety of ways for members to move off site, explore local hot spots and connect with others who share similar interests. Among the offerings are a rich array of colorful restaurants and tasty cuisine, along with local venues for music and entertainment. All events are led by a host who meets and greets participants the night of the event, guides them to their venue and is available to help answer any questions and facilitate interaction. If you're a people person who'd love the opportunity to meet and mingle with AEA members in a fun and festive way, AEA would love to hear from you! In order to participate, you need only be attending the annual conference, be outgoing, and be available on the night of Thursday, November 12. To sign up, send an email by Monday, September 14, to [email protected] with Nights Out Event Host in the subject line. It's a short-term, one night, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
 
AEA is developing its 2009 Nights Out event schedule now. For a look at last year's offerings, view http://www.eval.org/eval2008/08NightsOut.htm
 
AEA's Leadership Recruitment Task Force: Would you like to help shape the leadership of AEA? Do you know individuals who have much to offer? Are you excited at the prospect of new ways to identify and recruit new talent? AEA's Recruitment Task Force is seeking interested participants to identify and recruit qualified members to run for offices of Board member, Treasurer, and President-elect. Specific responsibilities are to recognize and appeal to the unique requirements of Board members, President-elect, and Treasurer in developing new recruitment strategies and to identify and recruit a diverse pool of candidates consistent with AEA's mission, vision, and values. Membership is for a one-year term, renewable thereafter. Meetings are by phone and email. Critical times of responsibility are in the months prior to AEA's nominations deadline (early March). Task force members must possess personal experience and familiarity with AEA, good skills at interfacing with members/prospects, an ability to follow up and track progress, report informally and respond efficiently and effectively. Also desirable are enthusiastic outreach, timely follow-through and prompt reply to communications. Not especially time-consuming, immensely rewarding! 
 
Full details regarding this task force opportunity, including how to apply and criteria for selection, may be found at http://www.eval.org/volunteer_leadership_TF.asp. Note: Members of the Task Force may not run for elected office during their term of service. Deadline: Thursday, October 1, 2009.

Evaluation 2009 Conference Multipaper Session Chairs: We are seeking session chairs for the following multipaper sessions at Evaluation 2009 in Orlando. In order to volunteer, you need only have an interest in the topic, be attending the conference, and be able to coordinate the session as described in AEA's guidelines for session chairs. Please note that each listing is independent of the others - we are seeking different volunteer chairs for each session (and wish again to thank the over 300 people who have already stepped forward to chair a session!). Chairing a session is a great way to get involved, learn more about the topic, and connect with the presenters:
If you are interested in Chairing any of the above sessions, please first review the guidelines for session chairs. and then send an email to Susan in the AEA office at [email protected] indicating for which session you are interested in serving as chair and a very brief note as to the nature of your background or interest in the topic. We will take volunteers until October 1 or until all sessions are filled, whichever comes first.
AEA Goes Green With Electronic-Only Opt-In Versions of Four Journals
From LaMarcus Bolton, AEA Technology Director
 
BoltonThere has been a lot of talk lately about "going green." But what exactly does this mean? And even more importantly, why should we care? According to Web Ecoist, every day, Americans produce enough trash to equal the weight of the Empire State Building. Annually, we fill enough garbage trucks to extend from Earth halfway to the moon.
 
"Going green" is not simply a passing fad. Rather, it is a future-oriented initiative to smartly utilize natural resources and reduce unnecessary waste. Green office practices can be as simple as increasing recycling, reducing the amount of office paper used, or completely eliminating the use of paper altogether and opting for electronic communication. Recycling only one ton of paper can save 17 trees, 2 barrels of oil, 4,100 kilowatts of energy, 3.2 yards of landfill space, and 60 pounds of air pollution (Web Ecoist). Imagine what can be done if we eliminate the use of paper altogether!
 
AEA has tried to do its part in the "going green" effort by reducing paper consumption, reusing materials at conferences, recycling, and providing members with online access to current and previous journal content. Now, we are going a step further to reduce environmental impact by offering all members the option of receiving their journals electronically-only. In particular, members can choose either the "online only" or "online and print" options to access content from the American Journal of Evaluation (AJE) and New Directions for Evaluation (NDE). Members also automatically receive electronic-only access to Evaluation and the Health Professions and Evaluation Review as part of their membership.
 
How much paper will that save? Well, each AJE averages more than 200 pages per issue and each NDE averages over 100. Both come out quarterly. The rough math equals more than 1200 printed pages annually. Offering members an online-only version of their favorite journals aligns with AEA's values, addresses member concerns, corresponds with an increased use of online technologies and helps conserve vital resources.
 
AEA is taking steps to reduce its environmental impact by offering an online-only option for journals. To change the way you receive your journals and to get involved in the "go green" initiative, simply log onto AEA's website and update your membership profile. And, if you have any questions or suggestions on how to make AEA more "green", please contact me at [email protected].

Go to AEA website to update profile

New Jobs and 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:
  • Regional Evaluator (Senior Research Associate) at Education Development Center (Newton, MA)
  • Evaluator at Pima Prevention Partnership (Tucson, AZ)
  • Health Systems Research Evaluations Expert at Altarum Institute (Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Senior Researcher at the Juvenile Welfare Board Children's Services Council (Clearwater, FL)
  • Senior Cost-Effectiveness Analyst at EnCompass LLC (Rockville, MD)
  • Research Associate at Community Science (Long Island, NY)
  • Data Analyst at Los Angeles Universal Preschool (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Statistics/SPSS Trainer at the QED Group, LLC (Washington, DC)
  • Consultants for Organizational Review of the ICANN's Country Code Names Supporting Organization (RFP) at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Worldwide)
  • Research Associate at Educational Policy Institute (Virginia Beach, VA)
  • Researcher at OMNI Institute (Denver, CO)
  • Research Methods Team Leader/Faculty at University of Massachusetts Medical School, Center for Health Policy and Research (Shrewsbury, MA)
  • International Relations Analyst at the United States Department of Labor (Washington, DC)
  • Director of Evaluation and Research at Kauffman & Associates, Inc. (Silver Spring, MD)
  • Evaluation Studies Specialist at Evaluation Studies Unit, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, CANADA)
  • Research Associate at National Center for Juvenile Justice (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Director of Evaluation at Harlem United (New York, NY)

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

Developing a Learning Culture in Nonprofit Organizations 
GillAEA member Stephen J. Gill is author of a new book published by SAGE. Developing a Learning Culture in Nonprofit Organizations draws on more than 25 years of consulting experience.

From the Publisher's Website:
How can today's nonprofits demonstrate effective use of funds? How can they motivate employees and volunteers and combat burnout and high turnover? How can they ensure that they are performing in accordance with their mission and purpose? Author Stephen J. Gill answers these questions and more in Developing a Learning Culture in Nonprofit Organizations. Filled with practical tips and tools, the book shows students and managers of human services, arts, education, civic, and environmental agencies how to implement a learning culture with individuals, teams, the organization as a whole, and the larger community. Developing a Learning Culture in Nonprofit Organizations:
  • Demonstrates how to create a culture of intentional learning that uses reflection and feedback, focuses on successes and failures, and builds a strong organization that motivates employees and volunteers
  • Offers specific, hands-on tools for each level of the organization, from the individual and team to the whole organization and the community
  • Discusses not only the need for a learning culture but also the barriers that may stand in the way
  • Takes a step-by-step approach that facilitates managers' and students' understanding and learning
  • Incorporates practical tools that can be used in nonprofit management and in actual field instruction
From the Author:
"I've been consulting with nonprofit organizations for more than two decades, mostly on program evaluation and strategic planning. My overall observation from this accumulated experience is that the nonprofit/NGO sector is made up of many well intentioned people managing organizations with noble missions that are under-performing and wasting valuable resources. Exceptions exist, and I describe some of these examples in my book, but for the most part, whether large or small; human services, education, arts, health care, civic engagement, advocacy, or philanthropic; well funded or hand-to-mouth - nonprofits could be having a much greater impact on their communities. Especially in the current economic crisis, it is imperative that nonprofits learn how to be more effective in meeting the growing needs and how to use their resources wisely. I wanted to write a book that put the focus on learning, defining evaluation as a process, vital to the functioning of an organization that, when done well, results in learning and performance improvement. I wanted to help nonprofit managers learn how to learn from evaluation so that they could continuously improve their organizations."
 
About the Author:
Stephen J. Gill is an independent consultant based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 
 
Go to the Publisher's Website
Are We There Yet? A Communications Evaluation Guide 
AreWeThereYetAEA members Edith Asibey and Justin van Fleet have co-authored a guide published by the Communications Network. Are We There Yet? A Communications Evaluation Guide was funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and has been downloaded over 23,000 times since its release last December.
 
From the Publisher's Website:
Do you know if your communications are working? Have you ever asked?  If the answer to both questions is "no," you're not alone. Few foundation communicators claim they regularly - if at all - formally evaluate their work. In developing the guide, Asibey Consulting surveyed more than 80 foundation and nonprofit communicators, conducted 20 in-depth interviews and extensively reviewed existing resources and reports. In addition to step-by-step planning advice, the guide includes several case studies from the Lumina Foundation for Education, The Wallace Foundation and others where the data from evaluation efforts helps communicators achieve their goals and direct limited resources wisely.

From the Authors:
"We designed this guide for philanthropic organizations and nonprofits that want to be more effective with their communications. An effective evaluation strategy can help you keep your communications on track and use your limited resources most efficiently. Our research uncovered current practices in evaluating communications as well as the challenges faced by today's professionals. This guide offers solutions in an easy-to-use format, which you can adapt to the needs of your organization. It helps you gather input at the beginning of your activities to shape your communication strategy, and gives you the tools to monitor progress and make course corrections during implementation. We encourage users of the guide to share their experiences in evaluating communications with others in order to develop the field and to improve foundation and nonprofit communications and - ultimately - to help achieve the societal changes we seek."
 
About the Authors:
Edith Asibey is the Principal of Asibey Consulting, a firm that provides advocacy and communication strategies and evaluation services to foundations and nonprofits. She has conducted dozens of training sessions on communication and advocacy planning and evaluation. Edith recently joined Atlantic Philanthropies as a Communications Executive. Toni Parras is a consultant focusing on communicating and evaluating marine management and conservation efforts in the U.S. and internationally. She has conducted trainings in communication planning and evaluations of various marine and social initiatives. Justin van Fleet, Principal of The Advance Associates, is an education and evaluation professional specializing in the development of trainings, education and evaluation programs for domestic and international audiences.  
 
Go to the Publisher's Website
Hawaii-Pacific Evaluation Association to Hold 4th Annual Conference
The Hawaii-Pacific Evaluation Association will hold its 4th annual conference and pre-conference workshops September 10-11 at the Waikiki Prince Kuhio hotel. This year's event will focus on Cultural Competence in Evaluation. Featured keynote speakers will be Hazel Symonette and Lois-ellin Datta.
 
Hazel Symonette, a Senior Policy and Program Development Specialist at the University of Wisconsin Madison, is recognized nationally and internationally through her work with community organizations and participation on national and international committees. Her work draws on social justice and systematic change research. Symonette is committed to creating authentically inclusive and vibrantly responsive teaching, learning and working environments that are conducive to success for all. She moves this agenda forward through a variety of strategies--most notably through cultivating capacities to use assessment and evaluation tools to advance a diversity-grounded personal transformation, organizational development and social justice change agenda.
 
Lois-ellin Datta, President of Datta Analysis, is a local treasure. She teaches, consults, writes, and conducts evaluations locally, nationally, and internationally, focusing on the intersection of policy and practice. Formerly, Datta was the Director of Program Evaluation in the Human Studies Area for the U.S. General Accountability Office and the national Director of Head Start evaluation. After spending 30 years in D.C., she moved to Hawai'i to be closer to her children and grandchildren. She has served on numerous local boards and committees with such non-profits as Girls Scouts, Kona and Waikoloa Outdoor Circles, Kona Krafts and the Hawaii Island United Way.
 
Visit the conference website for the call for papers and posters, registration information, and workshop and conference schedules.
OPEN Conference Friday, October 2 in Oregon Convention Center
The Oregon Program Evaluators Network will hold its annual conference on Friday, October 2 at the Oregon Convention Center. Highlights include:
  • Debra Rog, President of American Evaluation Association, will be the keynote speaker. Her presentation is titled "When Background Becomes Foreground: The Importance of Context in Evaluation."
  • Gary Blackmer, Oregon Audits Director, Oregon Secretary of State, will do a presentation on "What Program Evaluators Can Learn from How we Performance Auditors Do Our Work."
  • Linda Mabry, Professor, Washington State University-Vancouver, will conduct a full afternoon workshop on "Qualitative Data Analysis."
  • At least one other workshop or presentation series is in the works
Get Involved
Get the most from your membership by taking advantage of the many things that you can do right now to participate in the life of the association, share your input, and promote your business.
About Us
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