Newsletter: October 2012Vol 12, Issue 10


Thankful For and Moved By 2012 Conference


AEA Colleagues!,


Fresh off of the annual conference this past week in Minneapolis, I wish to extend another sincere thank you to all who attended what I hope was a wonderful conference-going experience. Additionally, I extend a special thank you to those who played any part in contributing to the conference from reviewers to volunteers, from local arrangements committee to the Minnesota affiliate to the Presidential Strand Task Force. Finally, the support of our wonderful and talented staff of the Association deserve credit for pulling off a record attendance, all while seamlessly moving the conference materials from one hotel to the convention center late Wednesday night and ensuring that all our needs were met!


If you had an opportunity to attend the closing plenary, you will recall the photos submitted by members who captured Evaluation in Complex Ecologies throughout their daily lives. The images featured provocative, funny, serious, challenging, and inspiring images about relationships we foster, responsibilities we uphold, and relevance of our work as evaluators. From Minneapolis to Dublin to Paris and Budapest, the pictures showed us in our element affecting change among youth, practitioners to community members in quite dynamic and fulfilling ways. The images reminded us to be careful about how we interface and interact with stakeholders, how to honor the tapestry of diversity in the field, and why our craft is important in the lives of all those we work so hard to affect. Stay tuned to see a copy of the short video we shared of the images that will be posted on the AEA website in the coming month.


What a thrill it was to participate in the closing ceremony with Gavino Limon, the 3-year-old warrior of an evaluator who had us all dancing around the conference room celebrating the conference and the lives we live as evaluators! If nothing else, the end of the conference (and the image of Gavino who transformed from a playful 3-year-old to a serious performer and presenter) reminded me of the words of the author, Paulo Coelho who wrote in The Alchemist, "But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the Soul of the World, and you understand why you are here." While I felt a sense of enormous accomplishment by Saturday evening of the conference, I was especially touched by the purpose of our collective work and how we might affect change to all those programs, projects, personnel, and policies we work so hard to make better.


For those who returned from Minneapolis or who were in the path of the superstorm this past week, I pray for your safe well-being in the days ahead.




Rodney Hopson  

AEA President 2012

In This Issue
Walking the Talk - George Julnes
Policy Watch - Signing Off
AEA Treasurer's Report
Meet Board Member Jonathan Morell
2012 Outstanding Evaluation Award
Face of AEA - Hanife Cakici
Diversity - Thankful for Commitment
eLearning - eStudy Courses Now Recorded!
Potent Presentations
New Audio Podcasts!
Book Honored
Book: Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages
Evaluation Humor - Ice Breakers
New Member Referrals & Kudos
New Job Postings
Get Involved
About Us
Quick Links
AEA's Values - Walking the Talk with George Julnes

Are you familiar with AEA's values statement? What do these values mean to you in your service to AEA and in your own professional work? Each month, we'll be asking a member of the AEA community to contribute her or his own reflections on the association's values.  


AEA's Values Statement

The American Evaluation Association values excellence in evaluation practice, utilization of evaluation findings, and inclusion and diversity in the evaluation community.


             i.  We value high quality, ethically defensible, culturally responsive evaluation practices that lead to effective and humane organizations and ultimately to the enhancement of the public good.

             ii. We value high quality, ethically defensible, culturally responsive evaluation practices that contribute to decision-making processes, program improvement, and policy formulation.

            iii. We value a global and international evaluation community and understanding of evaluation practices.

            iv. We value the continual development of evaluation professionals and the development of evaluators from under-represented groups.

             v. We value inclusiveness and diversity, welcoming members at any point in their career, from any context, and representing a range of thought and approaches.

            vi. We value efficient, effective, responsive, transparent, and socially responsible association operations.



JulnesI'm George Julnes, professor of public and international affairs at the University of Baltimore and currently a member of the AEA Board. I have been a member of AEA for over 20 years and previously spent a dozen years as a leader of AEA's Quantitative Methods TIG. In all of this time, I worked on evaluations for federal and state agencies and also published and taught on evaluation theory and practice, with the common thread of trying to make the world "a better place."

As such, I appreciate the opportunity to comment here on AEA's Value Statement. While we may focus most on the activities of our association, the Value Statement is the foundation of all we do - and it's a major reason many of us value our membership in the evaluation community that AEA supports. Just reading over this statement, I find myself nodding in appreciation of each sentence, but let me focus on only a couple points.

First, I'm proud to be a member of an organization where the ultimate commitment is to "the enhancement of the public good." In making decisions in evaluation practice, this ultimate value is like a beacon to me in navigating around the inevitable value conflicts. While there will always be debates about what constitutes the public good, or "social betterment," particularly in terms of such often conflicting values as efficiency, equity, community, and liberty, we can at least be united in committing ourselves to serving it.

Second, I value being in an organization that stands forthrightly for being inclusive and culturally responsive. These might seem like obvious, correct stances now, but we know it was not always so, that these positions represent hard-won lessons that goad us in practice to ensure the voice of those long-denied and to not assume our own cultural superiority. These values also guide our service to AEA; whether as members of AEA working groups, task forces, or TIGs, these stated values prompt us to push AEA to be its best.

Finally, I appreciate the commitment to the global and international evaluation community. By being a premier forum for the international evaluation community, AEA helps its members learn best practices from around the world, including issues concerning context-sensitive methodology and cultural understanding. Continuing this global sharing is important not only in broadening the positive impact of AEA but also in renewing the best in AEA's underlying values.

Policy Watch - Signing Off 

From George Grob, Consultant to the Evaluation Policy Task Force


It is time for me to leave my position as AEA's evaluation policy consultant. I do so reluctantly, still hanging onto it by my finger tips for a short while. Let me explain.

Five years after my retirement from the Federal Government civil service, I accepted an offer to return for a two-year stint as an evaluator. With the new job, I had to cut back on my consulting in general and to AEA's Evaluation Policy Task Force (EPTF) in particular. I have been filling in as best I can as an unpaid volunteer.

In September, the AEA Board decided to continue and possibly expand the EPTF's activities. For this, they now need to fill the paid consultant position I used to hold. AEA issued a Call for Proposals for Consultant Services on Influencing Evaluation Policy, with a November 15 deadline for applications. I strongly encourage a robust response to AEA's call. I will be available to coach the new consultant through a transition period.

I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the opportunity I had to serve as evaluation policy advisor to the EPTF. It has been an honor and a pleasure to have worked with a group as competent, dedicated, and productive. So thank you EPTF Members Eleanor Chelimski, Katherine Dawes, Patrick Grasso, Susan Kistler, Mel Mark, Stephanie Shipman and current and Past AEA President Members William Trochim, Debra Rog, Leslie Cooksy, Jennifer Green, and Jody Fitzpatrick. I wish you, future EPTF members and my successor, the fulfillment I enjoyed in your company.

Go to the EPTF Website

AEA Treasurer's Report 

From Brian Yates, AEA Treasurer & Board Member


Yates"Don't we have a lot of money? Why can't we spend more?"


Yes, our account balance is positive and large ($2.5 million or higher most days, and primarily in very secure government-insured Certificates of Deposit). Our financial rules, developed and approved by the AEA Board over the past seven or more years and several Treasurers, require us to maintain enough funds for self-insurance, to survive a year without income (currently $1.5 million), and to have enough additional funds in the bank to pay for new initiatives ($0.9 million).


That seems like a lot, but AEA policy is to set priorities each year for use of a limited amount of those funds to ensure that no one-year administration draws down all of this account while allowing for new programs and new developments that result in lower-than-predicted revenue or higher-than-predicted expenditures. New programs include our successful eLearning workshop series and Coffee Break Webinars as well as initiatives of the Board. We are spending over $200,000 on these programs and initiatives this fiscal year (July 2012 through June 2013). In addition, we need to maintain funds to meet liabilities such as dues and conference registrations already paid (highly variable, currently about $0.5 million).


Our financial policies also require us to budget so that revenues equal or exceed expenditures for ongoing, regular expenses. These include our annual conference, our annual summer institute, our web site, board meetings, journal publishing, day-to-day operations, member relations, member involvement, and a variety of task forces (including the Evaluation Policy Task Force).


Depending on the time of year our net revenue (income - expenses) can vary substantially, so it's good to have a financial "cushion" in place -- which our financial policy requires. Our financial health and prudence makes us attractive business partners and clients for vendors, and for prospective executive directors and association management companies. This solid fiscal base also helps us schedule conventions at good hotels and secure commitments from wonderful workshop presenters.


From my perspective as an evaluator since the mid-1970s, a member of AEA since its inception, and your Treasurer for the last five years, I think it is prudent to continue our current self-insurance against disasters from hurricanes and tornadoes, pandemics such as H1N1, and earthquakes as well as having enough funds to pay our bills for the current budget. Times are uncertain. Many governments do not have the financial security they once had. Continuing our financially conservative approach to managing our fiscal resources seems particularly wise, given:


a) recent dramatic restrictions by Congress in participation of all US government employees in conferences and institutes (both major sources of revenue for AEA), potentially decreasing conference and institute participation and revenues,

b) increased potential for a moderate recession in reaction to the anticipated "fiscal cliff" of mandatory U.S. government spending cuts and tax increases due to hit January 2013 (unless various branches of federal government overcome serious disagreements), and

c) costs of searching for, transitioning to, and paying a new Executive Director and new Association Management Company before July 1, 2013.


We all hope, of course, that world, U.S., and AEA finances stay balmier than I fear. My job is to prepare us to endure and flourish even if they do not.

Meet Jonathan Morell - Incoming Board Member

In our last issue, we promised a quick introduction of our three incoming Board members as well as the 2014 President. We'll spotlight each individually and thank them for their commitment to service. Today, we meet Jonathan Morell.


MorellJonathan Morell is a long-time member of AEA, helped found two topical interest groups and an evaluation journal, is a prolific writer and the recipient of two AEA awards - one for service and one for evaluation theory. In his nomination statement, he shares more:


"As a member of AEA since its inception I have been an active participant and leader in the development of the Systems, and Business and Industry TIGS. My career throughout this time has progressed along multiple intersecting paths. Along one path I have conducted a great deal of hands-on evaluation across a wide range of topics. In recent years I have been working with the Department of Transportation on innovative programs related to risk, safety promotion, and safety culture. My activities have included the evaluation of industry pilot projects funded by the Federal Railroad Administration, and internal change at the Department level. Because of this work I have had the privilege of seeing firsthand how the conduct of evaluation and the output of evaluation combine to affect policy. Along the second path I have contributed to evaluation theory by teaching and writing about logic models, and about the evaluation of programs that exhibit unexpected outcomes. I have also been doing research on the potential of agent-based complex systems as evaluation tools. Finally, as the editor of Evaluation and Program Planning, I have had extensive opportunity to interact with a wide variety of evaluators around the globe. It has been a revelation to understand who they are and what they do. These combined experiences have caused me to think a lot about how AEA reflects the field of evaluation, and where the organization might go from here.


"I believe that AEA is an organization that has grown organically into what it is now. Over time, some people doing the work we call "evaluation" joined AEA because they saw the organization as a fitting home. That membership interacted with the election of board members, the presentations we made, the writing we produced, and the conversations we had with colleagues. Over time, we have become what we are. We have grown into a community of practice. This growth process is how professional communities should form. It has worked for us. It has become something that nurtures our professional identity and our intellectual needs. At the same time though, we need to acknowledge that the range of evaluation activity and theory is broader than what is represented by the members of AEA.


"An imperfect overlap between AEA and the totality of evaluation is as it should be. We cannot and should not strive to expand over the entire domain of evaluation. What our community of practice can benefit from, however, is learning from methodological approaches we seldom use, and from choices about evaluation design and data interpretation rooted in values other than ours. We do not have to use those methods or act on those values, but we do need to be aware of what they are and why they matter. I do not favor methodological and values diversity for their own sake. I favor methodological and values diversity because appreciating them will lead to what I do favor: deeper understanding of program theory, better methodology, more powerful data interpretation, more appeal to a greater variety of stakeholders, and more influence on policy. I also think that as we enrich our understanding of evaluation, AEA's growth path will evolve to expand our membership.


"Overall, my experience has sensitized me to three issues that the AEA Board has been working with: evaluation in policy making, diversity (in all its diverse meanings), and listening to global evaluation activities. If I am granted the honor of serving on the Board these are the initiatives I will seek to advance. AEA has been a supporting professional community that has helped me become a better evaluator. As a recipient of the Ingle and Lazarsfeld awards, I feel a deep sense of acceptance by my peers. I want to serve on the Board to help us move from strength to strength."


We welcome Jonny and thank all who voted in this year's election.

AEA Announces 2012 Awards Winners - Congrats to All!

The American Evaluation Association honored four individuals and one group at its annual awards luncheon on Friday, October 26, in conjunction with its Evaluation 2012 conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Honored this year were recipients in five categories involved with cutting-edge evaluation/research initiatives that have impacted citizens around the world. We'll spotlight each award in upcoming issues, starting today with the 2012 Outstanding Evaluation Award that went to the Paris Declaration Phase 2 Evaluation Team.


  • The Paris Declaration Phase 2 Evaluation Team
    Bernard Wood, Julia Betts, Florence Etta, Dorte Kabell, Naomi Ngwira, Francisco Sagasti, Mallika Samaranayake, Julian Gayfer, Niels Dabelstein, Ted Kliest
    2012 Outstanding Evaluation Award

While evaluations more traditionally focus on projects and programs, a new focus on joint evaluations for large-scale projects including multiple parties and more global perspective and impact is emerging. This evaluation focused on implementation of Paris Declaration Principles rather than a specific project or program.


The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness was endorsed in 2005 by over 150 countries and organizations including the more developed aid donor counties like the U.S., developing countries from around the world, and international development institutions like the World Bank, the United Nations Development Group, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The Paris Declaration was considered a landmark international agreement and the culmination of several decades of attempts to improve the quality of aid and its impact on development. The Paris Declaration laid out a roadmap of 56 practical commitments. In 2008, the principles were reaffirmed and the Accra Action Agenda added.


The evaluation of The Paris Declaration initially documented how its many principles were being implemented and operationalized; then later assessed results on the ground, in policy development and more broadly. A final report summarized, analyzed, and synthesized more than 50 studies in 21 partner countries and across 18 donor agencies, as well as several studies on special themes. It started with a standardized template to guide the synthesis, entailed viewing implementation as a journey, and featured periodic updates, recommendations and follow-up. The evaluation took a year to design and a year to carry out.


"The evaluation process was participatory and consultative among partner countries, donors, and international organization participants," notes Michael Quinn Patton, a pioneer in the field of evaluation who nominated the work for the Outstanding Evaluation Award. "An internet platform was available to stakeholders to support access to all documents, facilitate communications, and support transparency. Country ownership by partner countries was made a priority to ensure full participation and engagement. Providing sufficient support to make the evaluation a trilingual exercise - English, French and Spanish - was aimed at ensuring full participation in and access to all aspects of the evaluation. Stakeholder involvement assures the relevance of evaluations and evaluator independence ensures credibility."


Congrats to the Paris Declaration Phase 2 Evaluation Team!


"Our AEA awards represent a feather in the cap of a select few of our members annually," notes AEA's 2012 President Rodney Hopson. "This year's awardees are no different. Our colleagues are both deserving and represent the outstanding recognition of theory, practice, and/or service to the field, discipline, and association from our junior members to our senior members both locally and internationally."

Go to AEA's Awards Page

Face of AEA - Meet Hanife Cakici

AEA's more than 7,600 members worldwide represent a range of backgrounds, specialties and interest areas. Join us as we profile a different member each month via a short Question and Answer exchange. This month's profile spotlights Hanife Cakici from the University of Minnesota and an active member of her local affiliate and a huge help for Evaluation 2012.


CakiciName: Hanife Cakici

Affiliation: University of Minnesota, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development

Degrees: B.A. in Political Science (Turkey), Master of Public Policy (Fulbright Student, USA), Ph.D. in Evaluation Studies (Expected 2014, USA)

Years in the Evaluation Field: 5+

Joined AEA: 2010

AEA Leadership Includes: Minnesota Evaluation Association (MN EA), Board Member; Local Arrangements Committee for the Evaluation 2012 AEA Conference

Why do you belong to AEA?

"To learn, unlearn and relearn everything related to evaluation; and to network, network and network! AEA community has given me so much inspiration to establish the Turkish Evaluation Association (TEA), the one and only evaluation organization in Turkey. Now I have the chance to contribute to field building efforts in international contexts, and exchange insights with the AEA community at large.

Why do you choose to work in the field of evaluation?

"My first and biggest "Ah-ha!" moment in evaluation occurred when I was first introduced to the field of evaluation almost 6 years ago. The need for evaluations made so much sense to me! I wondered why evaluation has been underutilized in my native country, Turkey, at which moment my journey started.


"I consider evaluation an indispensable asset for informed decision-making in resource-constrained environments. I would like to see this reflective practice diffused everywhere to constantly learn and move forward."

What's the most memorable or meaningful evaluation that you have been a part of - and why?

"As an evaluation assistant at MESI (Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute) under the direction of Dr. Jean King, I assisted in conducting an evaluation of a foster care program at a local county. The evaluation was so memorable mainly for three reasons. First, the evaluation process touched vulnerable youth's lives, and I have experienced first-hand how evaluations lead to social betterment. Second, the users and producers of this evaluation cared so much about their jobs, a prerequisite to meaningful evaluation use. The evaluation meetings were full of energy, passion and support for one another. Last but not least, I learned to appreciate the complexity of evaluation environments, the diversity of actors and their backgrounds. This complexity makes evaluators wear multiple hats: critical friend, counselor, coach. It was enlightening to try those hats on."

What advice would you give to those new to the field?

"Get involved! There are so many opportunities offered by AEA and local committees for people to become a part of this growing community. I personally find AEA's resources (i.e., AEA-365 A Tip-a-Day, webinars and journals) helpful in learning about the latest developments in the field. Check to see if your state has a local committee (e.g., MN EA) and attend their events and activities."


If you know someone who represents The Face of AEA, send recommendations to AEA's Communications Director, Gwen Newman, at

Diversity - Thankful For AEA's Commitment

From Karen Anderson, AEA's Diversity Coordinator Intern

AndersonThe American Evaluation Association's commitment to diversity and inclusion takes into account the evaluator, the act of conducting evaluations, as well as the stakeholders within the evaluation context.

Have you ever wondered where to find materials related to this commitment?

Look no further, I'll give you a head start!

Within the preamble of AEA Policies:

MISSION: 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. 

VISION: The American Evaluation Association's vision is to foster an inclusive, diverse, and international community of practice positioned as a respected source of information for and about the field of evaluation.

VALUES: The American Evaluation Association values excellence in evaluation practice, utilization of evaluation findings, and inclusion and diversity in the evaluation community. 

Handouts can be found in the resource links below; great for sharing with groups!

AEA's Guiding Principles for Evaluators

A few examples:

Within the principle of Competence, evaluators who provide competent performance to stakeholders should "ensure that the evaluation team collectively demonstrates cultural competence and uses appropriate evaluation strategies and skills to work with culturally different groups."

Under the Respect for Persons principle you will see: "evaluators respect the security, dignity, and self-worth of respondents, program participants, clients, and other evaluation stakeholders." Also, evaluators should "understand, respect, and take into account differences among stakeholders such as culture, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation and ethnicity."

AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation

The Statement has four core concepts, which are the foundation for pursuing cultural competence and include:

  • Culture is central to economic, political, and societal systems
  • Cultural competence is fluid
  • A requirement that evaluators maintain a high degree of self-awareness and self-examination
  • Culture has implications for all phases of evaluation, which include staffing, development, and implementation of evaluation efforts as well as communicating and using evaluation results

This is just the beginning. Please take some time to review these materials in their entirety for a thorough understanding of AEA's commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

If you want to include a culture in evaluation initiative you're involved with please send information to

eLearning Update - Professional Development eStudy Courses Now Recorded

From Stephanie Evergreen, AEA's eLearning Initiatives Director  


You've been called out to a meeting. You've paid close attention to the step-by-step instructions but you need to review a detail here or there. Your laptop battery empties and you're disconnected from the webinar. You'd have to wake up at 4 am to attend, due to time zone differences. We know how it goes - life sometimes gets in the way of your earnest efforts to learn from online courses.

That's why, beginning with our January 2013 courses, all Professional Development eStudies will be recorded. We record so you can access the same content you paid for at your own convenience (like when your laptop battery recharges).

Recordings of each session will be made available for 14 days to those who register for the eStudy course. Attendees will receive a link and a password to access the recording the same day the session is scheduled. Now, the recordings won't be downloadable. But you will be able to pause, rewind, and review as much as you need for two weeks after the session takes place.

Here are the eStudy courses you can look forward to accessing by recording in January:

Applications of Correlation and Regression: Mediation, Moderation, and More
Wednesdays January 9, 16, 23, and 30 1:30-3:00 PM ET with Dale Berger

Creating and Automating Dashboards Using MS Word and Excel
Tuesdays January 15 & 22, 1:00-2:30 PM ET with Agata Jose-Ivanina & Ann Emery 

There's still time (but not much) to register for the remaining 2012 eStudy courses:

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Planning for Programs/Projects
Tuesday & Thursday November 13 & 15, 12:00-1:30 PM ET with Scott Chaplowe
(Registration closes November 7)

Creating Surveys to Measure Performance and Assess Needs
Tuesday & Thursday December 4 & 6, 3:00-4:30 PM ET with Michelle Kobayashi
(Registration closes November 27)

Read more details and access the registration link here:

Go to the eStudy Website Page

Potent Presentations Quick Tips & Checklist

From Stephanie Evergreen, Potent Presentations Initiative Coordinator

Potent Presentations Whew, you did it! You crafted a strong message, prepared great slides, and landed an awesome delivery. Now, before you totally relax, think about how you can extend your work with these post-conference activities:

  • Tweak your content based on the feedback you heard. Doing this now, while the session is fresh in your mind, will reduce your burden when you present this information again.
  • Contact or reply to those who heard, or heard of, your presentation. If you were presenting a paper, you should be prepared to email the completed paper. You may want to ask about their work to see how it might mesh with your own in ways that could be advantageous to you both.

Also, consider uploading your session materials to the AEA eLibrary for others to download and share.

Did you miss a p2i session? Want to review something you saw us present? The slides and handouts for each of our sessions are now available at

Go to the Potent Presentations Webpage

Listen Up! New Audio Podcasts Feature "Adventures in Evaluation" 

Adventures in Evaluation

Evaluation colleagues have launched a new audio podcast called "Adventures in Evaluation." Kylie Hutchinson and James Coyle kicked off the series in early August and have produced eight podcasts to date.


"At last check, in less than three months we've had more than 1,750 visits to our podcast site and approximately 2,265 people currently subscribed." says Hutchinson. "We've been really pleased with this level of interest so far and perhaps pleasantly surprised by how many people have listened to the show since August."


"Kylie and I are avid podcast listeners and noticed that there was no podcast out there regarding program evaluation," notes Coyle, "so we thought we'd start one up! Producing a podcast is sort of a 'labour of love' (just like evaluation!) and a bit of an experiment for us.


"We've been trying to fill each episode with relevant and practical information for both the new and experienced evaluator, but also keep them fun and entertaining. We also cover the perspective of both an internal and an external evaluator. We have a new 30 minute episode every 2-3 weeks. We've also been interviewing different innovators in the field of evaluation on a variety of topics and plan to expand this."


So far, that's included:

  • Credentialing Evaluators
  • Evaluation Reporting
  • AEA's Potent Presentations Initiative
  • Desert Island Evaluation Resources     
  • Developmental Evaluation
  • AEA Conference Preview
  • Seven Deadly Sins of Evaluation

This podcast can be accessed through iTunes for free or you can download the podcast or listen to it directly from the Adventures in Evaluation site (also free).


The Adventures in Evaluation site links to resources cited in each podcast, as well as basic information about program evaluation, a list of upcoming topics, and a place to offer comments. You can suggest your own ideas at

AEA Member's Book Honored with Prestigious Award
ThomasWillis Book Award AEA member Willis H. Thomas has been honored with the David I. Cleland Project Management Literature Award for his book, The Basics of Project Evaluation and Lessons Learned, which was published and released in November 2011 by Productivity Press, a subsidiary of CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group, and profiled in AEA's November newsletter.

The award was announced just days ago by the Project Management Institute (PMI) at its 2012 Global Congress North America Meeting held in Vancouver, Canada. PMI is the world's largest project management member association and the Cleland Award recognizes authors - just one per year - for advancing the knowledge, practices, procedures, concepts or techniques that demonstrate the value of project management.
"Winning the global Cleland award from the Project Management Institute represents one of the milestones I was hoping to accomplish in Evaluation," says Thomas. "It represents seven years of time investment as a student and practitioner. It provides a connection between project management and evaluation and represents new knowledge in project evaluation. Being a member of AEA was instrumental in obtaining a holistic perspective that inspired me to write this publication."

Congrats Willis!

Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages

FettermanAEA member David Fetterman is author of a new book, Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages: Hewlett-Packard's $15 Million Race Toward Social Justice, published by Stanford University Press.

From the Publisher's Site:

"Empowerment Evaluation in the Digital Villages analyzes a $15 million community change initiative designed to bridge the digital divide in East Palo Alto, East Baltimore, and San Diego. Involving a partnership between Hewlett-Packard, Stanford University, and three ethnically diverse communities, this initiative enabled its constituencies to build their own technology-oriented businesses, improve their education systems, and improve their economic health. While examining this large-scale, multi-site case, Fetterman highlights the power of empowerment evaluation to build local capacity and sustain improvements within communities. He provides deep insights into key steps in empowerment evaluation by exploring the way that each of these steps took place in the digital villages. Additionally, the text provides evaluators with real-world stories and practical advice from the front lines. The Digital Village case also demonstrates the social value of combining corporate philanthropy, academic prowess, and community empowerment-highlighting the role of evaluation in this process."


From the Author:

"Aside from the racing metaphor used throughout the book to highlight the urgency driving issues of social justice," says Fetterman, "what sets this book apart from others is that it is not a sanitized account of what happened. Problems, wrong turns, and even crashes are discussed and contemplated. This story is about real people taking charge of their lives in less than ideal circumstances and succeeding, accomplishing their objectives. It is a story about resilience. This book also sheds light on those who fund and facilitate these efforts and how they had the strength and foresight to let go of much of their power in order to allow community members to empower themselves.


"This was a large-scale community-based initiative funded at a level designed to make a difference. The most rewarding part is that it worked. It was not only an engaging process, inviting participation throughout the communities but it helped bridge the digital divide in communities of color. Native Americans built the largest unlicensed wireless system in the country, according to the head of the FCC. Small businesses blossomed in African American communities. Schools were enriched with technology and the training to use it. More to the point, people learned how to use evaluation to monitor their progress, assess their efforts, and produce results."

About the Author:

David M. Fetterman is President and CEO of Fetterman & Associates, an international evaluation consulting firm. He is Professor of Education at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the Director of the Arkansas Evaluation Center. He has held positions in Stanford University's administration, School of Education, and School of Medicine. A past-president of AEA, Fetterman is one of two recipients to receive both the Myrdal Award for evaluation practice and the Lazarsfeld Award for evaluation theory. He is co-chair, with Liliana Rodrequez-Campos, of the Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation TIG. Recent books include Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice (with Abraham Wandersman) and Ethnography: Step by Step, 3rd Edition. To learn more about Fetterman, visit


Go to the Publisher's Site

Evaluation Humor - Fun Ice Breakers to Spark Participation & Engagement

Looking to incorporate some fun and games into your next meeting? The International HIV/AIDS Alliance has come up with 100 ways to energize groups: Games to use in workshops, meetings and the community. Below is one idea.   

Ice Breakers       

If you have an illustration or graphic you think will bring a chuckle, feel free to forward it to Newsletter Editor Gwen Newman at

New Member Referrals & Kudos - You Are the Heart and Soul of AEA!
As of January 1, 2012, we began asking as part of the AEA new member application how each person heard about the association. It's no surprise that the most frequently offered response is from friends or colleagues. You, our wonderful members, are the heart and soul of AEA and we can't thank you enough for spreading the word.


Thank you to those whose actions encouraged others to join AEA in September. The following people were listed explicitly on new member application forms:


Cheryl Ackerman * Margo Bailey * Lonnie Beaumont * Rebecca Campbell * Doryn Chervin * Clarus Research * Vanessa Corlazolli * Karlyn Eckman * Wendy Fine * Benoit Gauthier * Global Environment Facility Evaluation Office * Neil Greene * Jean Haley * Eileen Harwood * Ellen Iverson * Darlene Jenkins * Leanne Kallemeyn * Tom Kelly * Shyam Khadka * Jean King * Melanie Livet * Maggie McKenna * Ayanavar Majumdar * Steve Montague * Jonny Morell * Amy Grack Nelson * Tricia Niesz * Organizational Research Services * Linnea Rademaker * Bernadette Sangalang * Wendy Tackett * Jennifer Urban * John Willis

New Jobs & RFPs from AEA's Career Center  
What's new this month in the AEA Online Career Center? The following positions have been added recently: 
  • Senior Evaluator at National Association of County and City Health Officials (Washington, DC, USA) 
  • Research Scientist IV (Social/Behavioral Sciences) at Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (Sacramento, CA, USA) 
  • Director of Research and Evaluation at Sports & Arts in Schools Foundation (Queens, NY, USA)   
  • Director of National Center for Juvenile Justice at National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
  • Assistant Director, Assessment and Evaluation at New York University (New York, NY, USA)   
  • Assistant/Associate Professor in Program Evaluation at University of Delaware (Newark, DE, USA) 
  • Assessment & Educational Research Associate at University Corporation at CSU Monterey Bay (Seaside, CA, USA)
  • Research/Evaluation Specialist at Office of Community College Research and Leadership, University of Illinois (Champaign, IL, USA)
  • Chair, Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University School of Public Health (Boston, MA, USA) 
  • Evaluation of UNICEF's Cluster Lead Agency Role in Humanitarian Action (CLARE) at United Nations Children's Fund (New York, NY, USA)

Descriptions for each of these positions, and many others, are available in AEA's Online Career Center. According to Google analytics, the Career Center received approximately 3,750 unique visitors over the last 30 days. Job hunting? The Career Center is an outstanding resource for posting your resume or position, or for finding your next employer, contractor or employee. You can also sign up to receive notifications of new position postings via email or RSS feed.


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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