Newsletter: November 2009 Vol 9, Issue 11 Eval 09

Banner600

rogGreetings all! We are just days away from our annual conference and I cannot wait to see my fellow members in person. We are expecting more than 2,400 attendees, more than 1,000 presenters and a great time by all! This year, our theme is Context and Evaluation. Context is a force in evaluation, both in shaping our practice and in affecting the programs and policies we evaluate. I am looking forward to hearing the variety of perspectives on context and the role it plays in evaluation.
  
I would like to take this opportunity to alert you to two sessions designed to update you on AEA efforts. First, as a part of this year's Presidential Strand, George Grob will present a session on Saturday, November 14, at 10:55 AM updating us on exciting developments within the federal government and a commitment to establish a broad policy to place increased emphasis on impact evaluation.

Second, please be sure to attend AEA's business meeting, scheduled for Thursday, November 12, 12:35-1:30. The business meeting is our forum to share with you the efforts underway in the Association and to obtain your input. And, for those of you who cannot attend this event, we will also offer a teleconference webinar, scheduled for Tuesday, November 17, 5:30-6:30 EST, so that you can stay abreast and also offer input. If interested, you may sign up here.

I am honored to preside over this conference, but thanks and kudos go to the many people who helped to get us here. First, a big 'thank you' to Ross Conner and Jody Fitzpatrick who helped me to turn the idea of "Context and Evaluation" into a strand of sessions that promises to advance our thinking in this fundamental area. 'Thank you', in turn, to all the presidential strand speakers who have worked with Ross and Jody to hone their sessions and offer their insights into the role that context plays in our work. 'Thank you' to Con Katzenmeyer for his leadership of the local arrangements team and to the Southeastern Evaluation Association for assisting us in the Graduate Student Travel Awards selection. 'Thank you' to Katherine McKnight for her leadership as Conference Chair. 'Thank you' to the hundreds and hundreds of volunteers who have contributed as reviewers, program chairs, ambassadors, committee leaders, photographers, and on-site assistants. And, of course, a huge 'thank you' to Susan Kistler and her team for making all of this happen. The magic that Susan and her colleagues perform to make our conference a reliably unforgettable event is through hard work, creativity, and listening and attending to the needs and interests of our members.
 
I am sure that I have forgotten others who have contributed to the conference, but please know that I am grateful and humbled by the outpouring of time, effort, and expertise that has made this event possible.

Sincerely,
 
Debra
 
Debra Rog
2009 AEA President
In This Issue
AEA Presents Four Awards
TechTalk with LaMarcus Bolton
Student Travel Awards
Food Options at Evaluation 2009
Mid-Career Fellows Reunite
Favorite Authors Onsite
Book: Knowledge to Policy
Book: Multicultural Health
Book: The Needs Assessment KIT
Book: SAGE Int'l Handbook of Educational Evaluation
Book: When Research Goes Off the Rails
Get Involved
About Us
Quick Links
AEA Presents Four Awards at Evaluation 2009  
The American Evaluation Association will present four awards in a ceremony scheduled to coincide with its annual conference this November in Orlando. The awards will honor professionals whose work examined the impact of abstinence-only pregnancy prevention programs - and resulted in policy and funding changes at the federal level; whose persistence has improved transportation safety; and whose passions for the field have instilled a professional responsibility to better represent those too often overlooked, misrepresented or underprepared. AEA's awards will be presented at Evaluation 2009, to be held November 11-14 in Orlando, FL. The awards luncheon will be held Friday. Join us as we celebrate this year's award winners. They are:
 
Michael Coplen
, a senior program manager with the U.S. Department of Transportation, will be honored with AEA's Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Government Award. His work significantly reduced rail injuries and led to the development of the Federal Railroad Administration's Risk Reduction Program, which was written into recent legislation - The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
 
Molly Engle
, an associate professor at Oregon State University and evaluation specialist with its Extension Service, will be honored with AEA's Robert Ingle Service Award. Molly has more than 25 years of evaluation experience focusing on community-based evaluations, is a charter member of AEA and was instrumental in the formation of its Health Evaluation Topical Interest Group. Her service to AEA includes serving as a board member from 1992-1994, Associate Editor of Evaluation Practice from 1993-1995 and as President in 2002.  
 
Donna M. Mertens
, a professor at Gallaudet University and author most recently of Transformative Research and Evaluation, will be honored with AEA's Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award. Donna, a prolific writer/author, served as AEA president in 1998 and helped found AEA's Diversity Initiative. She has made lifelong contributions to evaluation theory through teaching, presenting and practice. She currently teaches research methods and program evaluation to graduate-level deaf and hearing students in multiple programs including education, administration, psychology, social work, audiology, and international development and is editor of the Journal of Mixed Methods Research.
 
Christopher Trenholm and Barbara Devaney, representing Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., will be honored with AEA's Outstanding Evaluation Award. Mathematica was tapped in 1998 to spearhead a congressionally-mandated study of abstinence-only education programs intended to reduce teen pregnancies as well as sexually transmitted diseases. A comprehensive nine-year study - undertaken within a politically contentious arena - was noted for its rigor, balance, and impact. The study has been widely cited in news articles and opinion pieces. Newsweek's Sharon Begley in an article entitled Just Say No to Bad Science pointed to the evaluation as a model of good research in a field where it had been sorely lacking.
 
Congratulations to this year's AEA award winners. For more information or to learn how to nominate someone for next year's consideration, go to AEA's Awards page. We encourage you, while you're at Evaluation 2009, to consider those you might nominate for an award.
TechTalk - Increase Your Tech Savviness at Evaluation 2009 
From LaMarcus Bolton, AEA Technology Director
 
BoltonEvery month, you read TechTalk articles on your quest to learn how technology can help increase productivity and aid you in your professional development. Why not learn more? Evaluation 2009 offers a multitude of sessions that specialize in incorporating technology into your professional practices. The Integrating Technology into Evaluation TIG is sponsoring many of these sessions and roundtable discussions.
 
Is your organization conducting market research to evaluate customer needs? Is your university looking to conduct large-scale quantitative research? If you answer "yes" to either of these questions or you are a part of an organization that depends heavily on survey research data, there are sessions you can't afford to miss! This year's conference offers a diverse array of topics, including those related to online survey research. You will learn about experiences -- both successes and failures -- that others have encountered in their execution of survey research. If you are looking for "best practices" and "what works," this may be the place for you!
 
If you are new to survey research, we have sessions that can help you determine when to use online data collection methods as opposed to more traditional paper-and-pencil approaches. You can also gain insight in designing online assessment instruments to best suit the needs of a research endeavor.
 
For those experienced with online survey methodology you can learn how to ease the process of survey administration, how to make the collection most convenient for respondents, and how to keep survey campaigns cost-effective. Sessions will also address methodological concerns regarding online survey administration such as representative sampling, increasing response rates, managing missing data, using multiple software packages, and other challenges that go along with using this method of data collection.
 
Do you have issues maintaining member information or other confidential data? Are there files simply sitting in a file cabinet somewhere making them virtually inaccessible to those who need the information? Still other sessions provide information on maintaining online databases to store your most valuable information. You will learn how to make these online storage areas more efficient without sacrificing privacy.
 
Another topical area offered at Evaluation 2009 is a close, personal favorite of mine -- the use of social media in evaluation. Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, and blogging sites continue to expand and capture large audiences. Such sites are indispensable when it comes to finding groups of people with shared interests, but diverse opinions. Come find out how you can use such sites for outreach, program evaluation, needs assessments and much more!
 
In the meantime, if you have any questions about Eval 2009, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].
AEA Awards 14 Scholarships for Students to Attend Evaluation 2009
AEA each year offers two types of awards to help students attend its annual conference. One is based on a competitive essay focusing on the conference's Presidential Strand theme - this year Context and Evaluation - and how it applied to a specific scenario; the second centered on conference proposals that identify ways to increase the racial/ethnic diversity of people entering the field of evaluation and/or ways to increase the cultural competencies of evaluators more generally. This year's awardees include:

Type I Awards for Essay Content:

  • Kristy Bloxham, Utah State University
  • Haili Cheng, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Brandi Gilbert, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Douglas Grane, University of Iowa
  • Mark Hansen, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Kevin Ly, Urban Policy Student at Milano
  • Sergio I Prada, University of Maryland
  • Deborah Smith, University of Southern Maine
  • Jennifer Terpstra, University of British Columbia

Type II Awards for Conference Submissions:

  • Jade Caines, Emory University: Culture Within Context: Innovative Strategies that will Increase Ethnic Diversity within the Evaluation Field
  • Yun-shiuan Chen, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign: Myths of Assessing Cultural Context in Evaluation
  • Krystall Dunaway, Old Dominion University: The Development and Validation of the Cultural Competence of Program Evaluators
  • Srividhya Shanker, University of Minnesota: True Knowledge Confers Humility: People of Color and Indigenous People in Evaluation

Congratulations to this year's scholarship recipients!

Food Options at Evaluation 2009's Rosen Shingle Creek
Let's talk food at the conference headquarters hotel. Rosen Shingle Creek (RSC), where all the conference sessions are taking place and where over half of our attendees are staying, is a resort property. The self-contained venue means that you can't readily leave for lunch, but luckily there are many great options right at RSC and the hotel has extended significant discounts to conference attendees.
 
Fine Dining: AEA attendees receive 25% off of their food bill (excluding alcohol) at both venues below, just mention you are with the AEA conference to your server when placing your order:
 
A Land Remembered: Named after Patrick Smith's novel featuring Florida's history, this steakhouse offers casual lunches and elegant dinners. Reservations are recommended (call 1-407-996-3663). Open 11:00 am to 2:30 pm and 5:30 to 10:00 pm. Located in the RSC Golf Clubhouse. (Entrees $35-$55)
 
Cala Bella: RSC's signature fine dining Italian bistro, Cala Bella, or "Beautiful Creek," offers Italian classics with Mediterranean and American inspirations. Reservations are recommended (call 1-407-996-3663). Open nightly from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. Located in the RSC main lobby. (Entrees $18-$40)
 
Casual and Quick: These options allow you to get in and out and back to your conference sessions, or linger over a drink and discussion.
 
Café Osceola: This buffet restaurant also offers a la carte selections. Open 7:00 to 10:30 am, 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, and 5:30 10:00 p.m. AEA attendees receive 25% off of the expansive (and quite good) buffets. Located in the RSC main lobby. (Buffet: Breakfast $17.50, Lunch $18.50, Dinner $25.50; a la Carte items $10-$25)
 
18 Monroe Street Market: Quick snacks and drinks as well as piled high made-to-order sandwiches and a bakery fill this 24-hour market. Located one floor down from the lobby, you can grab a great meal and enjoy inside or outside seating. ($7-$10 for very large sandwiches)
 
Cat-Tails Pool Bar and Grille: This casual outdoor grill and bar serves a limited menu of bar fare. Located adjacent to the main pool area, its hours vary depending on the day but usually run from 11 am to 8 pm or later. ($12-$16 sandwiches and appetizer plates)
 
Shingle Creek Clubhouse Grille: Enjoy salads, sandwiches, burgers and wraps while taking in the vistas of the Golf Course. Located in the RSC Clubhouse. Open 11 am to 2 pm. ($9-$16 sandwiches and salads)
 
Drinks - from Coffee to Night Caps: For adult beverages, look for Bella's Bar inside Cala Bella, or Headwaters Lounge (which will run AEA drink specials) on the way to the conference center. 18 Monroe Street has bottles of wine and six packs of beer. Smooth Java on the lobby level solves those coffee cravings.
 
Trying to contain your budget and still have a great time? Consider a morning snack from 18 Monroe Street, splurging at lunch at Café Osceola buffet taking advantage of the 25% discount, and ending your day with a light snack and drafts (only $3.50) in the Headwaters Lounge.
 
Download the AEA discounts flyer
Mid-Career Fellows Re-unite in Orlando After Year-long Experiment
One year ago they met and at this year's Evaluation 2009 conference, 13 fellows participating in a one-year pilot project employing learning circles as an avenue for professional development among mid-career professionals will share their findings. The goals of the program were to build a professional community in which to learn, to provide actual training as well as hands-on application that, in turn, would help determine the viability of learning circles as an ongoing professional development mechanism for AEA and its members. At November's meeting in Orlando, the cohort will reflect on their experiences and offer what they've seen as the benefits and challenges of working in a learning circle environment.
 
The mid-career professionals initially went through a two-day workshop to focused on the concept of when and how learning circles are used and can be beneficial. They then were broken into sub-groups to actually employ the techniques. One is exploring the use of technology for evaluators to communicate with stakeholders, ie. building a website to communicate to a target audience (in this case, the parents of children with mental health conditions in a high-poverty, rural region) who may or may not respond to web-based technology. Another links eight members of the Nevada Evaluators Association who are interested in gaining insight about and working collaboratively with their peers to address a question that consistently arises in their professional evaluation practice: What constitutes credible evidence in the health, human services and educational contexts? A third targets evaluators who interface with agencies whose job is to improve the child welfare system that utilizes new and novel approaches - but often without an evidence base documenting their effectiveness. A fourth is built with the goal of establishing a communications system to help launch a new AEA local affiliate in the Omaha, Nebraska region.
 
When participants gather again this November, they'll have direct feedback regarding what they consider the optimum size of working groups, the value of face-to-face communication hand-in-hand with hi-tech advances, challenges with what information to share and how publicly, as well as the personal preferences or dislikes of working electronically and out of sight as well as comfort with new processes and the impact they have moving forward.
 
"When I started this, I don't think I ever would have envisioned how the structure and experience would unfold as it did," says Deborah Loesch-Griffin. "Although it was at times both frustrating and challenging as I struggled with the technology and the virtual relationships, I also feel I gained a great deal from pressing forward. I am even recommending some of the tools for other groups to use, even if they don't do learning circles."

If you are interested in learning more, you might consider attending the Using Online Learning Circles as a Strategy for Professional Development Among Practicing Evaluators session scheduled for Thursday, November 12, at 10:55 a.m.
 
Meet Your Favorite Authors at Opening Reception/Poster Session
Come to Evaluation 2009's opening reception on Wednesday night and get a glimpse of more than 100 posters, meet your favorite authors and build your professional network in a great social setting. Admission to the Reception and Poster Exhibition is included in your conference registration. This is the most widely attended event of the conference and we encourage you to meet and mingle in this festive setting. On hand will be some of your favorite authors, books and publishers. Come see the latest from Guilford, Jossey-Bass, SAGE, EdgePress, Erlbaum and others. Confirmed authors include:
  • Marvin Alkin, James Altschuld
  • Michael Bamberger, Leonard Bickman, Marcie Bober, Paul Brandon
  • Fred Carden, Huey T. Chen, Christina Christie, J. Bradley Cousins
  • Stewart I. Donaldson
  • David Fetterman, Jody Fitzpatrick, Joy Frechtling
  • Jennifer Greene
  • Kelly Hannum, Ernest House
  • Linda Morra Imas
  • Robert Kahle, Mansoor Kazi, Jean King, Richard Krueger
  • Mel Mark, Jennifer Martineau, Donna Mertens, Robin Miller, Michael Morris
  • Michael Quinn Patton, Mary Piontek, Hallie Preskill
  • Debra Rog, Lois Ritter, Liliana Rodriguez-Campos, Jim Rugh, Darlene Russ-Eft, Katherine Ryan
  • Kim Sabo Flores, Tom Schwandt, Catherine Sleezer, Laurie Stevahn, Nick Smith, Carolyn Sullins
  • Rosalie Torres
  • Jeffrey White, Bob Williams

If you are an author interested in participating in this year's event, please stop by the AEA registration desk.

Knowledge to Policy: Making the Most of Development Research 
CardenAEA member Fred Carden is author of Knowledge to Policy: Making the Most of Development Research, published by SAGE. The book emerged from a study conducted at the International Development Research Centre in Canada and is accompanied by online information that includes design documents, background studies, case studies and workshops and presentations.
 
From the Publisher's Website:
"Does research influence public policy and decision-making, and if so, how? This long debated question continues to be the subject of discussions among scholars, researchers and the international community of development agencies, donors and practitioners. For development agencies and donors, responses to this debate contribute to the larger question of how development aid affects public policies in the South. In over 35 years of supporting research in the South, Canada's International Development Research Centre has gained considerable experience in fostering research-policy links and carried out a learning-oriented evaluation to observe whether and how the research it was supporting was influencing public policy and decision-making.
 
Knowledge to Policy: Making the Most of Development Research encapsulates results of the evaluation and presents the key findings and summaries of 22 case studies from Asia, Africa and Latin America. It also addresses the methodology used in a reader-friendly, journalistic style, giving the reader a deeper grasp and understanding of the approaches, contexts, relationships and events. No other research-for-development publication has assessed such a wide variety of case studies of experiences from the developing world."
 
From the Author:
"This was the first published study that I know of on the influence of research on the policy process that looked across a range of cases from countries in the global South. We identified some striking differences - and similarities - with influence in the North. What was different had a lot to do with the evolution of systems of governance in many countries in the South, and the call that makes on research findings. For example, in many cases the researchers had to think about changes to the institutional structures as part of moving their findings into use. What was the same had a lot to do with the central importance of communications, as well as strong and effective relationships of trust between researchers and policy makers."
 
About the Author:
Fred Carden is director of the International Development Research Centre's Evaluation Unit and is an expert on developing innovative ways to assess the impact of development programs and the contributions of research to concrete policy and behavioral changes. Carden joined IDRC's Evaluation Unit in 1993 and became its Director in 2004. He has written extensively on evaluation, international cooperation, and environmental management.
 
AEA members receive a 20 percent discount on books from SAGE when ordered directly from the publisher or at the AEA conference. The discount code for AEA members is S25AEA or members can call the Customer Care department at 1-800-818-7243.
 
Multicultural Health
MulticulturalHealthAEA  member Lois A. Ritter is the lead author of a book published by Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Multicultural Health features 13 chapters as well as an online site with student resources that include chapter outlines and an interactive glossary and web links. For instructors, there are PowerPoint slides and a test bank available.
 
From the Publisher's Website:
Multicultural Health serves as a comprehensive guide for healthcare workers in any cultural community. By focusing on differences in cultural beliefs about health and illness and models for cross-cultural health and communication, this text helps students and professionals learn effective ways to implement health promotion programs and program evaluation across cultures.
 
General Topics Include: 
  • What are culture, ethnicity, and race?
  • Assimilation and acculturation
  • Disparities in healthcare
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Cultural theories and models related to health promotion and program planning
  • Legal issues and standards related to providing health-care services to multicultural groups
  • Cross-cultural ideologies about health and illness
  • Health promotion, planning, and evaluation in multicultural settings
  • Common health beliefs and practices among specific cultural groups
  • Program planning and evaluation for specific cultural groups
  • Tips for working with specific cultural groups

From the Author:
"What was most rewarding for me was all that I learned during the writing process and the people who I met along the way. Multicultural Health includes information about non-ethnic cultures such as gays and lesbians and migrant farm workers. It also includes a great deal of information about religion and rituals and their impact on health beliefs and behaviors and laws and ethics related to multicultural health. I had not found a book on the topic that included some of the topics that we included such as laws related to multicultural health and non-ethnic groups."
 
About the Author:
Ritter is a Research Manager at Walter R. McDonald & Associates, Inc. and an Assistant Professor at California State University, East Bay in the Nursing and Health Sciences Department. She has a doctorate degree in education and master's degrees in health science and anthropology. Her areas of interest are community health, health technology, and evaluation.
 
Go to the Publisher's Website

The Needs Assessment KIT, a Five-Volume Collection
 
KITJames W. Altschuld, a charter member of AEA, is editor/author of The Needs Assessment KIT, a five-volume collection published by SAGE. Fellow authors are J. N. Eastmond, Jr. of Utah State University, Jean A. King of the University of Minnesota, David D. Kumar of Florida Atlantic University, Laurel Stevahn of Seattle University, and Jeffry L. White of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
 
From the Publisher's Website:
"This kit is a set of 5 interrelated and sequenced books that take the reader through the needs assessment (NA) process. These volumes explain how to implement an assessment and explain how to identify and prioritize needs. The kit includes:
  • Book 1 Needs Assessment, An Overview. This book serves as the guiding framework for the other four books in the Kit.
  • Book 2 Phase 1, Preassessment (Getting the Process Started). This book focuses on numerous approaches for starting a meaningful needs assessment.
  • Book 3 Phase 2, Assessment (Collecting Data). This book describes in depth the five most common instruments and strategies of needs assessment.
  • Book 4 Phase 2, Assessment (Analysis and Prioritization). This book explores how to analyze and combine qualitative and quantitative data and how to put results together.
  • Book 5 Phase 3, Post assessment (Planning for Action and Evaluating the Needs Assessment). This book takes the reader through a journey of getting results utilized and then evaluating the needs assessment itself.

From the Editor/Author:
"The KIT is a journey through needs assessments. It embarks with an overview of the process (Book 1) and then moves to getting the trip underway (Book 2) with an emphasis on learning about needs via existing data and information. When new data is required that is where Book 3 enters the picture. The foci of Books 4 and 5 are analyzing and prioritizing needs and converting results into needs-based actions, respectively.
 
The KIT is filled with real world examples including those where pitfalls were encountered, exhibits, and forms/procedures. It is grounded within organizations for which the assessments were conducted. Guidance for dealing with problems and hidden issues is openly provided and should be as helpful to novices doing assessments for the first time and to those who are "old hands." The content is neatly balanced between 'how to' and theory.
 
Some highlights of the KIT include: a new version of a three phase model of needs assessment; a glossary of terms; the cultural audit of an organization as to readiness for an assessment; a close look at how to design needs assessment surveys; traditional and cyberspace focus groups techniques; subtle meanings in qualitative and quantitative needs data; and a fun "double dozen" ways to move findings to organizational actions."   
 
About the Editor/Author:
James W. Altschuld is a professor emeritus in evaluation and research from The Ohio State University. He has co-authored three previous books and has been the recipient of local, state, and national honors including AEA's Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Practice Award for contributions to evaluation.

AEA members receive a 20% discount on books from SAGE when ordered directly from the publisher or at the annual conference. The discount cose for AEA members is S25AEA or members can call the Customer Care department at 1-800-818-7243.
 
The SAGE International Handbook of Educational Evaluation
EducationalEvaluationAEA members Katherine E. Ryan and J. Bradley Cousins are editors of a new handbook published by SAGE. The SAGE International Handbook of Educational Evaluation puts forth a myriad of voices that provide illuminating insight on shifts within the field, how evaluation is conducted and how its role is viewed.

 From the Publisher's Website:
"Bringing together the expertise of top evaluation leaders from around the world, The SAGE International Handbook of Educational Evaluation addresses methods and applications in the field, particularly as they relate to policy- and decision-making in an era of globalization. The comprehensive collection of articles in the Handbook compels readers to consider globalization influences on educational evaluation within distinct genres or families of evaluation approaches.
 
Key features:
  • Discusses substantive issues surrounding globalization, and its implication for educational policy and practice and ultimately evaluation;
  • Includes state-of-the-art theory chapters and method chapters within scientific, accountability-oriented, learning-oriented, and political genres of evaluation approaches;
  • Provides real-world case exemplar chapters to illustrate core concepts within genres;
  • Extends dialogue on controversial topics and contemporary educational evaluation tensions in the context of globalization;
  • Summarizes, by means of an integration chapter, the issues, tensions and dilemmas confronting educational evaluators in an era of globalization.
From the Editors:
"An interesting aspect of our project related to definitions of globalization. In the first instance, we chose to define it only loosely for authors putting onus on them to give us their interpretations and definitions. The result was the emergence of interesting and rich themes including interconnections, drivers and accelerants, homogenization, and consequences. As the project proceeded, we noted an emergent listing of intellectual dilemmas, issues, and challenges for evaluation theory and practice. Some emerged as a product of changing contexts in educational policy and practice (e.g., evaluation purposes) while others were simply historical dilemmas with a new countenance (e.g., evaluator role)."
 
About the Editors:
Katherine E. Ryan is Associate Professor in the Educational Psychology Department at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Her research interests focus on educational evaluation and the intersection of educational accountability issues and high stakes assessment. Her work has examined both evaluative capacity building and monitoring issues in evaluation. She has served as Associate Editor for the American Journal of Evaluation and New Directions for Evaluation.
 
J. Bradley Cousins is Professor of Educational Administration at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. Cousins' main interests in program evaluation are participatory and collaborative approaches, utilization, and capacity building. He recently received the Paul F. Lazarsfeld award for theory in evaluation (AEA, 2008) and has been Editor of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation since 2002. 
 
AEA members receive a 20% discount on books from SAGE when ordered directly from the publisher. The discount cose for AEA members is S25AEA or members can call the Customer Care department at 1-800-818-7243.
 
Go to the Publisher's Website
When Research Goes Off the Rails: Why It Happens & What You Can Do
StreinerSidaniAEA members David L. Streiner and Souraya Sidani are editors of a new book published by Guilford Press. When Research Goes Off the Rails: Why It Happens and What You Can Do About It offers insight from more than 60 contributors in areas ranging from ethics approval, collaboration, and recruitment and retention to study implementation, data collection and data analysis.
 
From the Publisher's Website:
"Few behavioral or health science studies proceed seamlessly. This refreshingly candid guide presents firsthand vignettes of obstacles on the bumpy road of research and offers feasible, easy-to-implement solutions. Contributors from a range of disciplines describe real-world problems at each stage of a quantitative or qualitative research project-from gaining review board approval to collecting and analyzing data-and discuss how these problems were resolved. A detailed summary chart helps readers quickly find material on specific issues, methods, and settings. Written with clarity and wit, the vignettes provide exemplars of critical thinking that researchers can apply when developing the operational plan of a study or when facing practical difficulties in a particular research phase."
 
From the Editors:
"As with most books, the genesis of Off the Rails was triggered by a real situation. As co-applicants, we "inherited" a research project after the principal investigator retired the day we received the grant. This turned out to be the project from hell," says Streiner. "Everybody knows that the road from conceptualizing a project until its conclusion is a bumpy one, but you'd never know that from the way articles are written; no glitches, roadblocks, detours, or derailments are ever mentioned, but everyone knows they're there. We were loath to discuss the book at graduate seminars for fear of scaring students away from research, but the reaction was just the opposite: Tell us more about what we can realistically expect when we start to work on our own projects. There were two rewarding aspects about the project," he adds. "The first was that, no matter with whom we discussed the book, the reaction was the same - it's about time someone wrote about this. The second was reading about the ingenuity and enthusiasm of the researchers. Although a few obstacles turned out to be insurmountable, what comes through is the ability of the researchers to work around the problems to come up with alternative ways of getting the answers, and still retain their love for research."
 
About the Editors:
David L. Streiner is Senior Scientist at the Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

Souraya Sidani is Canada Research Chair, Tier One, in Health Interventions Design and Evaluation at Ryerson University in Toronto.
 
AEA members receive a 20 percent discount on books from Guilford when ordered directly from the publisher or purchasing at the conference. To apply the member discount, use the code "AEA" online or call 1-800-365-7006 or 1-212-966-6708.
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