Newsletter: December 2012

Vol 12, Issue 12


What Would You Dare to Do, If? 



Dear AEA Colleagues,


In a recent sermon to a local congregation where I live, I reflected on a series of questions that began with: "What would you dare to do...?" The phrases ended with "... if you knew you wouldn't fail?" or "...if you knew you had a limited time to live?", and so on. All were meant to encourage parishioners to reflect on our lives, our imaginations, and the urgency of fulfilling our purposes. It's this same invocation that I extend to you as the membership of AEA: What would we dare to do to carry out the mission, vision, and values of this great Association?


As I close out what has been an amazing year as AEA President, I'm reminded about a few efforts underway that we ought to continue to imagine ourselves contributing to as we scan what is on the horizon in upcoming year(s).  

  • In response to a letter written to Secretary Hillary Clinton regarding our Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation and other resources available on our website, I received a reply from Barbara Retzlaff, Director, Bureau of Budget and Planning, Department of State. She wrote, "Cultural competence is important, particularly in the work done by State Department employees since the nature of our jobs is to frequently interact with people from around the world." She ends the letter with the following: "Your letter had been provided to me so that the Bureau of Budget and Planning, which is responsible for evaluation policy...can inform those overseeing or performing evaluation work through the Department..." This letter illustrates that AEA's footprint in evaluation policy and in cultural competence, two initiatives that have seen considerable work over the last few years, can influence public policies, as well as local and international programs in evaluation, and spread our Association's values in corners of the country and the world. 
  • I also had the honor of attending the EvalPartners International Forum on Civil Society's Evaluation Capacities from 3-6 December, 2012, co-sponsored by IOCE and UNICEF. EvalPartners is an initiative of IOCE (International Organisation for Cooperation in Evaluation), coordinated by our own Association member, Jim Rugh. Along with more than 80 participants from international evaluation associations from all regions of the world, we took part in meaningful dialogue and working group sessions on ways to i) influence the enabling of environments for evaluation at multiple levels in our country's contexts, ii) develop and learn from efforts to enhance institutional capacities of our Associations and iii) develop and learn from efforts to facilitate better individual capacities of our members. AEA's footprint in international engagement is, while we notice the growth of international members, still developing and one where we seemingly have some responsibility to our global neighbors and associations in evaluation to contribute to relevant ideas that are consonant with our own Association's values.

In closing, I would be remiss if I did not thank the AEA staff, led by Executive Director Susan Kistler, and the AEA Board for the support provided to me this year. And remember, the best for AEA is yet to come!


May your new year be filled with peace, fulfillment, and countless blessings,



Rodney Hopson  

AEA President 2012

In This Issue
Walking the Talk - Tristi Nichols
Thought Leader Changes
2012 Government Award
Meet the 2014 President
Face of AEA - Krystal Tomlin
eLearning - Progress & Performance
Diversity - Going Viral?
Arts TIG Renamed
Member Bibliography
Book: Program Evaluation & Performance Measurement
Book: Practice and Research
Evaluation Humor
New Member Referrals & Kudos
New Job Postings
Get Involved
About Us
Quick Links
Join our Mailing List!
AEA's Values - Walking the Talk with Tristi Nichols

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.




I'm Tristi Nichols, an international evaluator of social development programs, serving as a Board Member and Board Liaison to the Task Force undertaking the Guiding Principles Review since May 2011. The specific AEA Values Statement I have posted on my office wall refers to ethically defensible (and culturally responsive) evaluation practices that contribute to decision-making processes, program improvement, and policy formulation. The term used during the 2011 AEA Think Tank Workshop was "safeguarding" the evaluator's independence, so that (s)he may protect and defend the evaluand, evaluation process, and key findings from others' values. Issues regarding safeguarding the evaluator's independence are concerns that take place everywhere,
regardless of the sector, political context, geographic region, size of the organization (or client), scope of the evaluation, or methods used. In my view, these issues still remain a challenge. Through the course of conducting the review of the Guiding Principles, the work of the Task Force focused my attention on the need to acknowledge
the (perceived) pressures on evaluators at times to engage in behavior that may threaten the integrity of the evaluation. Thinking through these challenges led me to reflect on my own practice, wherein I felt perceived pressures to put more/less emphasis on a stakeholder's perspective, highlight one methodology over another, showcase the evaluand's achievements, attenuate the challenges, and give greater attention verbally to a particular finding even after the report was submitted. I have served different evaluator roles throughout my career, including social justice advocate, capacity-builder / trainer, evaluation manager, expert, and internal evaluator. I discovered that in every role, these perceived pressures existed with varying degrees of intensity.

Detecting and understanding the origin of these perceived pressures has demanded new competencies, consequently opening doors to more challenging, yet richer, professional opportunities for me. For instance, unlike the past, it is no longer enough to have technical prowess, a healthy work ethic, flexibility, and a passion for the evaluation cause. In order to navigate through the ethical landscape, evaluators now require softer skills and diplomacy to communicate clearly and directly to their clients or within their own organizations (for internal evaluators) the necessary and important obligation to defend the evaluation findings. More than ever, evaluators must exploit on-line communities and resources to bolster their analytical and problem solving skills. Finally, being open to feedback, yet staying focused on maintaining independence, are elements that are becoming increasingly important for evaluators.

Cooksy Headlines Launch of 2013 Thought Leaders Forum, January 16-23

CooksyJoin us January 16-23 as AEA's 2010 President, Leslie Cooksy, will headline the launch of the 2013 Thought Leaders Discussion Forum - and anticipate some slight changes to the existing format.

What is AEA's Thought Leaders Discussion Series?

AEA's Thought Leader Discussion Series is an online discussion that connects thought leaders in our field with AEA members, new and old alike. It is one of many ways AEA strives to build bridges among members and foster a sense of community. Most months, we host an asynchronous (not in real time) online exchange over the course of a week. During each exchange, an established evaluator or theorist contributes daily to an online dialogue around issues of importance to the field and to our professional practice. As a participant, it is up to you whether to sit back and watch the exchange or become an active contributor, asking questions of the speaker and your participant colleagues or providing insights based on your own background and experiences.

How does the Thought Leaders Discussion Series Work?

A host will introduce the week's thought leader, via an email to the discussion list, and provide a bit of background and context for the discussion. The thought leader will supplement that with their own emailed contribution to the list and then open up the forum to questions and dialogue. The participants and host are encouraged to share their reflections and questions. The thought leader and host will check emails throughout the week, and respond at least daily, to move the dialogue forward.

In 2013, anticipate slight changes to the Thought Leaders Discussion format.

  • Rather than monthly, the series will be held every other month - making it easier both for recruitment and participation
  • Rather than Sunday-Saturday, the series will run Wednesday-Wednesday - making it easier to monitor and digest early discussions and then more actively participate on weekends as well
  • In addition to sessions with one Thought Leader, some sessions will be topical and feature a panel of interested participants

rog"There are some topics that people are very passionate about, some of which may even be spawned by previous sessions. There may not be a recognized leader for the topic, but rather a small group (2-3) who might be able to begin and guide a public conversation on the topic," notes Deb Rog, who proposed the Thought Leader Discussion Forum during her AEA presidency in 2009.

Who Will Lead January's Discussion?

Leslie Cooksy has been a professional evaluator for more than 25 years and is an established leader in the evaluation field. In addition to serving as 2010 President of AEA, she has served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Evaluation and as editor of AJE's Ethical Challenges section. She earned a doctoral degree in program evaluation and public policy from Cornell University, worked at and was awarded the U.S. Government Accountability Office's Meritorious Service Award, directed the Center for Community Research and Service at the University of Delaware and, in July 2012, joined the Sierra Health Foundation as its Evaluation Director.

Know a colleague or a topic you'd like to see on the Thought Leaders Forum? Send Deb a quick note and stay tuned for next year's lineup!

To read more or to sign up, visit AEA's Thought Leaders Discussion Web Page

AEA Announces 2012 Government Evaluation Award Winner 

The American Evaluation Association honored four individuals and one group at its 2012 Awards Luncheon 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, and today extend our congratulations to Katherine Dawes.


  • DawesKatherine A. Dawes
    Director, Evaluation Support Division, United States Environmental Protection Agency
    2012 Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Government Evaluation Award

A federal employee credited with placing an unprecedented emphasis on the importance of environmental evaluation, Dawes has had a presence at the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for the past 20 years. She started as an analyst in 1990, has worked in the brownfields and underground storage tanks programs, on government innovation and environmental justice issues, and in 2000 was selected to spearhead its new Evaluation Support Division.


A 1988 graduate of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire who earned a dual master's of public administration and geography at Syracuse University in New York, Dawes is credited with building capacity and support for environmental evaluation at EPA, outreach to other government agencies and around the world, and is well known for her adeptness at cross-agency connections and her collaborative approach.


"Katherine Dawes' story," notes nominator Beverly Parsons, executive director of InSites, "shows her accomplishments in building evaluation within her agency and across the federal government, sparking an international network of environmental evaluators, and contributing to the work of AEA both within the federal government and in the environmental field."


Dawes served a critical role in the founding of the Environmental Evaluators Network, which holds an annual forum in Washington, DC. Similar groups have since spawned in Canada, Europe and Mexico.

Katherine is an active member of the Federal Evaluators, the Environmental Evaluators Network (, as well as the American Evaluation Association. She has Master's Degrees in Public Administration (1990) and Geography (1993) from Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth. She is also a founding and former Trustee of the Environmental Leadership Program, a non-profit, non-partisan organization designed to train and support the next generation of environmental leaders.


"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

Meet Beverly Parsons - 2014 AEA President 

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 Beverly Parsons.



Beverly Parsons is a former Board member, serving 2009-2011, and a regular contributor to the AEA conference and pre-session professional development workshops. She has been a TIG co-chair and has served on task forces related to local affiliates, environmental issues, and policy-based governance.


"I agreed to be nominated for AEA President because I believe the breadth of my evaluative practice - theoretical and practical, quantitative and qualitative, traditional and cutting edge, local, national, and international - uniquely qualifies me to lead and support AEA members. I desire to provide an inclusive presidency dedicated to serving and engaging our members, celebrating AEA's strengths, and responding sensitively and constructively to a changing world.


"Over my 25 years in the evaluation field, I have grown to understand that our diverse profession is held together by a belief that better information and deeper insight can contribute to a more just world. I fully support the AEA ethics of transparency, quality, and excellence.


"As we move forward, I envision AEA working with local, regional, and national evaluation associations and networks worldwide. Collectively we can build an evaluation field responsive to the context and perspectives of the citizens of each country or region that encourages governments, civil societies, businesses, and social systems to use evaluation to support social and environmental well-being.


"In support of this vision, I bring knowledge and abilities - technical, interpersonal, and leadership - that have continued to evolve since my Ph.D. graduate education in educational research and evaluation (under Gene Glass and others) at the University of Colorado. I have studied and applied systems thinking in my evaluation and research. Also enriching my evaluation practice and theory development are certifications in Sustainable Business, Human Systems Dynamics, and Appreciative Inquiry.


"I have evaluated small projects and large-scale social change initiatives, taught university courses, conducted federally-funded research on evaluation capacity building, and worked within culturally and contextually diverse situations. Early in my career I lived and worked in Pine Ridge, South Dakota to build indigenous school boards. Later I directed the National Assessment of Educational Progress and worked with governors and legislators nationally on state social services and education policy and leadership issues.


"I founded InSites (an evaluation, research, and planning non-profit) 19 years ago and serve as its Executive Director. Through InSites, I have conducted evaluations and evaluative research nationally and internationally. I have worked with numerous organizations, including the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Freeman Foundation, National Science Foundation (NSF), and Center for the Study of Social Policy.


"I have been the Principal Investigator of two NSF evaluation-focused research grants and have worked across education, social services, health, partnerships, systems change, and community development. Besides numerous evaluation reports, I have published peer-reviewed articles, a guide on Initiative Evaluation, and a book on evaluative inquiry. My international work has taken me around the globe, including China, Japan, the Caribbean, Central Europe, and South Africa.


"As one of over 7600 AEA members representing 60 countries, I am proud of the contributions AEA members have made to provide insight into increasingly complex and seemingly intractable problems in society. I value a membership that includes academics, practitioners, and evaluation users - keeping our organization well grounded in both theory and practice. I envision an AEA that embraces a holistic, inclusive, systems perspective and develops in its members the knowledge, skills and tools to match. I will support AEA in strengthening evaluation as a discipline that understands not only its methods and tools but also its place in and responsibility to society. And I'm eager to participate in the future we have yet to create."

Face of AEA - Meet Krystal Tomlin

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 Krystal Tomlin, a former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation fellow and now active AEA member.



Name, Affiliation: Krystal A. Tomlin, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Degrees:  B. S. in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences; Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences
Years in the Evaluation Field:  Almost 2 years
Joined AEA:  2011
AEA Leadership Includes: Multiethnic Issues in Evaluation TIG Program Co-chair & Webmaster

Why do you belong to AEA?

"I was introduced to AEA through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Evaluation Fellowship program last year. After attending both the AEA/CDC Summer Institute and the AEA Annual Conference, I was intrigued by the amount of information that I learned and the amount of people I was able to meet doing a variety of work. I decided that the association was the right place for me to continue fostering my growth as a new evaluator beyond the fellowship, so I accepted a leadership position and got to work!"

Why do you choose to work in the field of evaluation?
"At the heart of everything that I aspire to do, is my goal of 'touching and changing lives on a daily basis' both personally and professionally. As I learned more about the field through study and work at the University of Florida and the RWJF Evaluation Fellowship, I decided that this was a field that could allow me to touch people's lives at various levels, while offering me the challenge to incorporate what I know and what I am learning to contribute to successful evaluations of all kinds. I like people, I like a good challenge, and I like the opportunity to help others."

What's the most memorable or meaningful evaluation that you have been a part of - and why?
"One of my first evaluations was an ongoing evaluation of a number of National Cancer Institute training programs for interns/fellows, looking at the successes and challenges of the programs from their mentors' perspectives. I enjoyed this project because I was able to: (1) utilize and fuse my existing skill sets with the skills I was learning, (2) learn more than I anticipated via interviews with mentors at different levels of the institute, and (3) be an ear for many of these individuals who had not had the opportunity to be heard up to that point. Much of what I learned through this evaluation, I have been able to apply to the work that I am doing now in another institute, so I am grateful!"

What advice would you give to those new to the field?
"Seek out mentors in the field, look for skill building opportunities, look for opportunities to apply what you're learning, never stop networking, and never forget about the people you could be helping through your work." 

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

eLearning Update - Checking in on eStudy Progress and Performance

From Stephanie Evergreen, AEA's eLearning Initiatives Director  


2012 marked our first full year running the eStudy webinar series. Last year at this same time, we said we'd know the eStudy program was on the track to success if we met certain indicators. Now, like all evaluators do, it's time to check in on our progress. 


2012 Progress

Plan, schedule, and execute 12 or more eStudy workshops

We held 19!

Average satisfaction ratings for the eStudy program will meet or exceed those for workshops offered at the annual conference

The average rating is 4.2, exactly the same as the conference workshops.

Average attendance across the eStudy offerings will be greater than or equal to 20 registrants

On average, 66 people attended.


This year, we met or exceeded the indicators we established. Next year, we will attempt to hold the pattern. Part of our ability to do that is because, in addition to these numeric indicators, we've gathered heaps of lessons learned - how to best distribute eStudy handouts, how to handle recording in a timely manner, how to negotiate dozens of audience questions. Thanks for trying out the eStudy program, giving us your feedback, and coming back to learn more.


In 2013 you can expect to see some of our same outstanding presenters repeat their popular workshops.

Registration is now open for:

Dale Berger's 6 hour eStudy on Applications of Correlation and Regression: Mediation, Moderation, and More presented Wednesdays January 9, 16, 23, and 30, 1:30-3:00 PM ET. Registration closes January 3.

Agata Jose-Ivanina & Ann Emery's NEW 3 hour eStudy on Creating and Automating Dashboards Using MS Word and Excel presented on Tuesdays January 15 & 22, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM ET. Registration closes January 8.

Gail Barrington's EXTENDED 6 hour eStudy on Getting Started: Introductory Consulting Skills for Evaluators presented on Mondays and Wednesdays February 4, 6, 11, and 13, 11:00 AM -12:30 PM ET. Registration closes January 28.

Jeff Wasbes' NEW 3 hour eStudy on Causal Loop Diagrams for Conceptualization, Explanation, and Presentation presented on Mondays February 25 & March 4, 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM ET. Registration closes February 18. 

Diversity - Cultural Competence Goes Viral?

From Karen Anderson, AEA's Diversity Coordinator Intern

AndersonHello there!

Many of you may know about the AEA YouTube Channel, which includes:

  • Awesome Ignite Presentations
  • Young Gavino Limon leading AEA members in the traditional Native American Buffalo Dance in the AEA 2012 Conference closing plenary
  • And just recently, some of the fun pictures taken at the photo booth this year related to how AEA members will be responsive to culture in their evaluation work


Evaluation 2012 Photobooth - Culture
Evaluation 2012 Photobooth - Culture


This is just an extension of the work of the Cultural Competence Statement in Evaluation Dissemination Working Group to disseminate the Statement. Just in case you missed the Group's aea365 week, take a peek and leave questions and comments by starting here.


Please take a few minutes to view the videos and the Group's aea365 week. A major shout out to the photo booth extraordinaire, Susan's daughter Mattie Kistler! Without her passion and commitment to getting AEA members involved and having fun with this activity, the video would not have been possible.

And feel free to share any comments with me at [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you!

Potent Presentations - The Art and Science of Successful Presentations
From Stephanie Evergreen, Potent Presentations Initiative Coordinator
Potent PresentationsWhen we started the Potent Presentations Initiative, we thought it would be really cool and informative to pull together the empirical, peer-reviewed literature around the art and science of successful presentations. We worked with Priya Small to conduct a literature review.

Priya compiled what could be found and grouped the findings into 5 key themes:

  • Crafting a Strong Message
  • Establishing Credibility
  • Planned Informality
  • Designed Interactivity
  • Purposeful Delivery

The entire report can be read hereHere's an example of what we learned: Legendary researcher Richard Mayer and his coauthor found that the use of questions as an interactivity prompt during lectures boosts audience learning. The group that was questioned scored significantly higher than the control group in recall of information and applying information to slightly different scenarios. That's cool and informative!


While we were excited by what we could dig up, we were also a bit disappointed. The fact is, much of the research we found wasn't very high quality. Many of the research articles were published observations of a single speaker with no clear or systematic methodology for deriving findings. Maybe successful presentations are more of an art than a science.

Please check out the report and let us know if you have a great peer-reviewed article to add to the list.

In the meantime, on the homepage we've included a link for you to download every tool we've produced so far. Download and share!

Evaluation Arts and Culture TIG Renamed - Now Arts, Culture, and Audiences

As of November 2012, the AEA Topical Interest Group (TIG) formerly known as Evaluation Arts and Culture was officially re-named "Arts, Culture, and Audiences." TIG Co-Chairs Don Glass and Kathleen Tinworth are excited about the change and what it means for this ever-expanding niche of evaluation.

Glass says, "Over the last several years, evaluators who conduct evaluations and visitor studies on exhibits, programs, and informal learning in museums, science centers, historic sites, zoos, and libraries have been finding a home community in our TIG." Tinworth agrees: "Looking at our TIG's conference sessions at AEA in 2011 and 2012, 46% have been about evaluation in these environments and settings. Adding 'audiences' to the TIG's name better reflects our TIG's diverse and growing membership." This complements the TIG's cadre of evaluators working in theaters and performing arts, after-school settings, arts education, and community centers. Currently, the Arts, Culture, and Audiences TIG has over 200 members.

Glass and Tinworth hope this rebranding clarifies to new and existing AEA members the breadth of evaluation the TIG cultivates and supports. Over the past two years, the TIG has sponsored two AEA365 weeks. Additionally, they have demoed a tracking and timing method during an AEA poster session and begun using their TIG social events as a vehicle to help local arts and culture organizations think about evaluation. In Minneapolis they met with program staff at the Walker Arts Center, observed the Center's evening event, then provided ideas about how the Walker might consider evaluating future programming. With the plethora of museums and cultural giants in the Washington, D.C. area, 2013 is sure to be a fantastic conference for the Arts, Culture, and Audiences TIG.

Want to know more or contact the TIG? Visit the TIG's webpage.

Listed on AEA's Online Member Bibliography?

Are you a published author or just looking for a good book?


Then stop by AEA's online AEA Member Bibliography. To visit, you can look for the Reading tab at the top of AEA's homepage and click on Links of Interest, where you'll see another link for Bibliography. Or you can click here for quick and easy access! You'll find in-print texts and journals/series. Whether you're looking for the next great book to read, searching for the most timely resources, looking for specific authors or would like to add yourself to the list, AEA's online bibliography provides an excellent starting point for your research projects and reading enjoyment. You'll be amazed at the wealth of talent among your peers and within the organization.


If you know of an entry that should be added to the list, please forward your entries to [email protected]. Any previously published works are eligible as are upcoming books (but not individual journal articles, chapters, or reports), as long as the focus is on evaluation or evaluation-related methodologies. Give us a heads up on soon-to-be-released books and it just might be spotlighted in AEA's monthly newsletter where we profile new releases, talk to the authors and provide a link directly to the publisher's site.


Though authors have to be AEA members to be listed, the bibliography is viewable to anyone who visits. Feel free to share the link with anyone who might benefit from this resource. And happy reading - and writing.

Program Evaluation & Performance Measurement: An Introduction to Practice

McDavid/HuseAEA members James McDavid and Irene Huse are authors of a new book published by SAGE, Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement: An Introduction to Practice.

From the Publisher's Site:
Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement: An Introduction to Practice offers an accessible, practical introduction to program evaluation and performance measurement for public and non-profit organizations, and has been extensively updated since the first edition. Using examples, it covers topics in a detailed fashion, making it a useful guide for students as well as practitioners who are participating in program evaluations or constructing and implementing performance measurement systems. Authors James C. McDavid, Irene Huse, and Laura R. L. Hawthorn guide readers through conducting quantitative and qualitative program evaluations, needs assessments, cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analyses, as well as constructing, implementing and using performance measurement systems. The importance of professional judgment is highlighted throughout the book as an intrinsic feature of evaluation practice.


  • Guides readers through conducting quantitative and qualitative program evaluations and needs assessments, as well as constructing and implementing performance measurement systems
  • Demonstrates how program evaluation and performance measurement are complementary ways of supporting evidence-based management and decision making
  • Covers the hot topic of professional judgment
  • Provides audiences with reader-friendly checklists to underscore key points


From the Authors:

"There are many different ways to introduce evaluation to students and practitioners and we feel our book is uniquely practical and current," says McDavid. "We keep the narrative thread focused on program effectiveness- which we believe is the core of the evaluation enterprise - and keep in view the practitioners who will be using our book."

About the Authors:

James C. McDavid is a professor of Public Administration at the University of Victoria (UVic) in British Columbia, Canada, who has conducted extensive research and evaluations focusing on federal, state, provincial, and local governments in the United States and Canada. He currently is a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation as well as the Evaluation Advisory Committee for the Canadian International Development Agency. Former Dean of the Faculty of Human and Social Development at UVic, he has been named a Distinguished University Professor and is a recipient of the University of Victoria Alumni Association Teaching Award and the J. E. Hodgetts Award for the best English-language article published in Canadian Public Administration.

Irene Huse holds a Master of Public Administration from UVic and is a PhD student in the School of Public Administration. She has worked as an evaluator and researcher at UVic and the University of Northern British Columbia as well as a policy analyst in several government ministries in British Columbia. Her research has appeared in the American Journal of Evaluation and the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation.


Go to the Publisher's Site
Practice and Research

ShawAEA member Ian F. Shaw is author of Practice and Research, a new book by Ashgate Publications.

From the Publisher's Site:

"Practice and Research is an overview of Professor Ian Shaw's analysis of the complexity and challenges of the practice/research relationship in social work - a theme that has been the focus of much of his writing over his career.

Introduced with a new essay that reflects on the 'serendipity, misfires and occasional patterns' in his work, the book is grouped into five sections. It covers the following themes, each of which is fully contextualized:

* Perspectives on Social Work Research
* Evaluation
* Qualitative Social Work Research
* Practice and Research
* The Receiving End: Service Users and Research

This book has much to say about the relationship between social work practice and research and is a must-read for any social work student or practitioner."

From the Author:

"I suppose it was age as much as anything that prompted this set of essays - carpe diem and so forth. After forty years of trying to write, I had a sense of what I had been trying to say. I have been increasingly drawn to the general question of how to place a field or discipline (in my case social work) within wider scholarly enterprise, while seeing that enterprise as requiring what Max Weber (1948) called 'strange intoxication', calculation and ideas. Also I have gradually more been pulled back to my sociological roots.


"Two of the most stubborn and difficult to avoid options for presenting the relation of research and practice are to give research priority over practice (rationalism) or to give practice priority over research (romantic conservatism). Put more carefully, I have reached a position where I believe that:

  • Practice (professional and other forms) poses challenges back to disciplinary work, rather than simply being 'based' on it.
  • Emphasis on professional (in the sense of a discipline that people actively 'profess') distinctives is both inevitable but risky.
  • There are merits of a relation between our various fields that is something like adjacent 'open systems', marked by intellectual reciprocity based on egalitarian respect.

"It was recognizing and rendering visible these unfinished themes that were perhaps the most rewarding aspects of working on this book."

About the Author:

Ian Shaw is Professor of Social Work at the University of York, England. He counts his Evaluating in Practice (Ashgate, 2011) as perhaps his most original work. He was lead editor for the Sage Handbook of Social Work Research (Sage 2010) and Sage Handbook of Evaluation (2006). His current projects include an extended historical study of Chicago University archives on the relationship of sociology and social work; a historical study of the British Journal of Social Work; and a study of the nature of research networks in social work. Find his research and publications here.


Go to the Publisher's Site

Evaluation Humor - Tis the Season for Song and Celebration, AEA Style 

Every year AEA member Kylie Hutchinson adapts a carol. Last year, she did her take on Away in a Report. Be sure to check out the videos on that same page for an evaluation spin on several popular tunes! And check out the cartoon below, submitted by Chari Smith, CRSmith Consulting, for some holiday humor.


Christmas toon  

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

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 November. The following people were listed explicitly on new member application forms:


Marc Alain * Karen Anderson * Maria Bustelo * David Campbell * Norman Dolch * Stewart Donaldson * Anne Farmer * Beverly Fortsan * Nancy Franz * Susan Gieryic * Malinda Hicks * Lester Horvath * Robert Hughes * Robert Kahle * Nancy Kingsbury * Amanda Makulec * Yorg Matt * Sarah Meadows * Kathy Newcomer * Lyn Paleo * Kristina Paul * Laurie Ringaert * Bess Rose * Aimee Sitzler * Deborah Smith * Patricia Steele * Sandra Suther * Abbas Tashakkori * USAID Evaluation listserv * Erin Watson * Wisdom in Numbers LLC * Donald Yarbrough

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: 
  • Chief of Research and Evaluation at Peace Corps (Washington, DC, USA) 
  • Program Evaluation Specialist at Hayes Inc. (Lansdale, PA, USA) 
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Applied Community Psychology at Atlantic Health System (Morristown, NJ, USA)   
  • Evaluation Consultant at Substance Abuse Foundation of Long Beach (Long Beach, CA, USA)
  • Director of Organizational Intelligence and Evaluation at Peer Health Exchange (San Francisco, CA, USA)   
  • Program Assessment and Evaluation Manager at National FFA Organization (Indianapolis, IN, USA) 
  • Executive Leadership Liaison at Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services (Pasadena, CA, USA)
  • Child Welfare Coordinator at Good Shepherd Services (New York, NY, USA)
  • Assistant or Associate Professor of Methodology at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Lincoln, NE, USA) 
  • Evaluator at First 5 Monterey County (Salinas, CA, 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 3,800 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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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.
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