2012 Annual Report
From AEA's 2012 President
Greetings, colleagues, on the completion of a successful 2012! In review, three issues stand out as the year came to a close. I summarize them below and include what strides we have made and still have to make:
- The integration of Priority Area Teams (PATs) into the Association's internal structure to i) better facilitate a transition to policy based governance and ii) allow Board members to focus on the priorities of policy, member engagement, and evaluation. While much of this organizational work goes on behind the scenes, it is the work of the Board and the Executive Director to facilitate mechanisms to assist members in carrying out the governance and operational work of the Association, respectively. Making the change from PATs (in what used to be committees of the Board) was no easy task and there are signs that we are still transitioning to better serve our members and to make clear our larger footprint in our evaluation world.
- The facilitation of international listening and engagement projects to begin to better situate how the Association may mutually benefit from the collaboration and partnership of international associations. Having completed the International Listening Project efforts underway earlier this year, we are poised to continue to reflect and act on ways to prioritize our international efforts both for our members and potentially for our evaluation association neighbors. At the EvalPartners International Forum on Civil Society's Evaluation Capacities recently held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I was one participant among more than 80 heads of international evaluation associations and other key international stakeholders. What was common from the take away messages from the international evaluation heads was the need for developing partnerships in ways that continue to spread and influence the world of evaluation within our governmental and non-governmental agencies, including ways to build the institutional capacities of our associations and the individual capacities of our members. As the largest and oldest of the international evaluation associations, AEA continues to have a responsibility to assist our neighbors in their own capacity building development efforts and to learn from them as we renew ourselves and look for ways to manifest AEA's mission, vision, and values the world over.
- The development of a process for Association Management Company/Executive Director (AMC/ED) selection and transition to assist in the seamless process of hiring a new AMC/ED for the Association after 12 years of exceptional service by Susan Kistler. The loss of Susan Kistler (and Kistcon AMC) will be hard to fill, but we look to gain an invaluable member and an opportunity to forecast the type of Association we imagine it to be from 2013 and beyond. Thanks to an awesome team of volunteers who have agreed to lead this effort, we are poised to do amazing things in the year ahead.
Rodney K. Hopson, 2012 President
Policy-Based Governance Transition
Perspective from AEA's 2011 President
During the 2011 calendar year, I was privileged to serve as AEA's President. And I was also lucky! Board members and Presidents for the preceding three years had focused much of their energies on developing a new form of policy-based governance for our Association. This shift in governance was prompted by AEA's recent rapid growth in membership, a concomitant expansion of services, and our emerging role in national and international evaluation policy. We needed a governance model that would enable the Association's leadership to allocate their energies to AEA's core mission and values and the policies that would best enact them. When it was my turn to lead AEA, we were ready to return to begin operating like a policy-based Board and resume our engagement with substantive priorities, issues, and activities. In 2011, these included issues related to our international presence, our Guiding Principles
, our efforts to influence federal evaluation policy through the Evaluation Policy Task Force
, and our commitments to contributing to environmental sustainability
During 2011 and continuing into 2012, we also devoted time and resources to continuing our transition to a policy-based governance model and to evaluating this transition. Please see the transition evaluation report available here.
But why would an individual AEA member become informed about or care about these AEA governance issues? The first reason is that an informed citizenry is the bedrock of effective democratic organizations. Beyond this are the three core tenets of policy-based governance, which in fact are highly consonant with AEA's mission, vision, and values. The first core tenet is the primacy of member engagement in all Association policy and decision making, and especially in the activities that enact our policies. That is, a primary responsibility of AEA leadership in a policy governance model is to listen well to the concerns and issues of members, to solicit member views on key issues, and to encourage and support the active engagement of members in Association business, decision making, and operational activities. Service to and engagement of members is the anchoring foundation of policy-based governance. The second core responsibility of AEA leadership in a policy governance model is evaluation - of our policies and of how well our programs fulfill policy intent and are consonant with our mission and values. Evaluation is a responsibility we collectively actually know how to do well. Meaningfully involving members in the Association's evaluation responsibilities is an ongoing commitment of the Board. The third core responsibility of AEA leadership in a policy governance model is, actually, policy. We are still learning about how to do policy well, and we welcome member involvement in this responsibility and in the ongoing evaluation of our policy-based governance and operations.
With nearly 200 evaluation associations currently in operation around the globe, the time is right for evaluation to become a first-class citizen of global social, health, education and economic decision making forums, contributing sound empirical data and informed judgments to societies' continuing endeavors to serve well all of their peoples. AEA's adoption of a policy-based governance model positions us well to be a significant player in evaluation's global role over the coming decades.
Jennifer C. Greene
AEA 2011 President
AEA's Fiscal Health Strong & Steady
AEA's revenues, and expenses, have been growing over the past decade.
Between the 2003 and 2013 Fiscal Years, AEA essentially added $1 million to both revenues and expenditures. Estimated expenses and estimated revenues for the 2013 Fiscal Year (July 1 2012 - June 30 2013) should be between $1.50 Million and $1.75 Million (US$). Revenues actually are somewhat better than expected, due to a terrific showing at our Minneapolis conference, but these increased revenues are forecast to also be completely offset by costs of the transition to a new Association Management Company (AMC). Below, a chart shows a more complete breakdown of both revenues and expenses.
|Record Year in Membership & International Growth |
2012 was a banner year for AEA
First, AEA membership has more than doubled in the last 10 years - rising from just over 3,000 members in 2002 to just shy of 8,000 by year's end 2012.
International Representation. Likewise, AEA's international representation has also grown with over 1300 members from countries outside the United States representing over 15% of the membership.
AEA membership rose 150% 2002-2012
AEA's International Listening Project
A Priority Personified
The vision of the American Evaluation Association is to foster an inclusive, diverse, and international community of practice. In 2011, AEA's Board of Directors launched the International Listening Project to explore and identify policies that enable new opportunities to build evaluation and the capacity of evaluators globally. Over the past two years, the Board has engaged members and select stakeholders in wide-ranging conversations about AEA's international role, AEA's policies and governance, and strategic opportunities to advance AEA's mission. Board-commissioned data collection efforts through surveys, interviews, and Think Tank Sessions at annual conferences have greatly informed the Board's understanding of the international landscape. These efforts to explore international opportunities have come at a time when AEA's membership is growing and one in six members lives outside of the United States. Simultaneously, the Board has adopted a governance approach - "policy-based governance" - that redirects the Board's focus to strategic decisions while empowering the Association's management staff to implement board priorities.
AEA's current policies dictate that the Association carries out priorities that benefit AEA members and promote collaboration with other regional and national evaluation associations. The International Listening Project set the stage for the Board to approve a new internationally-focused association priority in 2013 and you'll be hearing a lot more about that in the year to come. This priority will build on and enhance existing AEA activities that have become established over the years. AEA continues to designate a representative to the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation and is a signatory on the recent EvalPartners Forum in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where representatives gathered to discuss ways to enhance evaluation capacities of civil society and evaluation associations worldwide. AEA also offers a joint membership with the Canadian Evaluation Society and has, through the International and Cross Cultural TIG, supported travel of international presenters to the annual conference. These efforts, guided by policies focused on end goals, will ultimately increase the capacity of evaluators, organizations, and system actors to provide and use evaluation for improving society.
AEA's efforts to design and implement policies of global relevance are possible only with the continued engagement of its members, including those who have gathered, studied, and given voice to the rich ideas and activities to be implemented in the near and long-term. The Board's international work is a product of members' deep commitment and dedication to making AEA's vision of an international community of practice a reality. We look forward to further engagement in 2013!
|2012 Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota|
Not only did AEA have a banner year for membership and international representation, but these same trends were reflected at AEA's annual conference as well.
Conference Registration. More than 2,500 attendees participated at Evaluation 2012, with more than 350 traveling from abroad. That represents 14% of our overall attendance.
Numbers at a Glance. Evaluation 2012 featured more than 700 sessions and more than 1,000 presenters. A huge thanks to the 830 conference proposal reviewers who gave so generously of their time and energy to review submissions in advance and to the more than 100 student volunteers who assisted on site.
Conference Theme & Highlights. 2012 AEA President Rodney Hopson selected as the conference theme Evaluation in Complex Ecologies: Relationships, Responsibilities, and Relevance. Plenary speakers included Oran Hesterman, President and CEO of the Fair Food Network and author of Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All and Linda Tuhiwai Smith, professor and author of Decolonising Methodologies, a thought-provoking book on research and Indigenous peoples. Our thanks to Fiona Cram and Ricardo Millett for serving as 2012 Presidential Strand Co-Chairs and for their vital role in shaping the conference theme.
Find Out More about Evaluation 2012
At the heart of every annual conference - aside from the vast array of professional development opportunities, special speakers, networking possibilities and just plain fun - is AEA's traditional awards ceremony. Honored at AEA's annual conference in Minneapolis were four individuals and one evaluation team in five categories who collectively have been involved with cutting-edge evaluation/research initiatives that have impacted citizens around the world.
Join us in congratulating:
- Tarek Azzam, AEA's Marcia Guttentag Promising New Evaluator Award
- Katharine A. Dawes, AEA's Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Government Evaluation Award
- Melvin M. Mark, AEA's Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award
- Marco Segone, AEA's Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Evaluation Practice Award
- The Paris Declaration Phase 2 Evaluation Team, AEA's Outstanding Evaluation Award
Welcome to Three New TIGs, Three Local Affiliates
AEA is all about building community. In 2011, AEA welcomed two topical interest groups (TIGs) and one local affiliate. In 2012, we added another TIG and two local affiliates. In total, we currently have 49 TIGs and 27 local affiliates. Members can opt in to five TIGs at any time.
The Community Psychology TIG is designed for community psychologists and allied community-based researchers and practitioners who share a common set of principles and values that influences both the content of their work and the methodologies employed.
The Data Visualization and Reporting TIG is designed to help evaluators better communicate their work - and more visually - by improving graphic design, layout, and technology skills; creating guidelines for slideshows and written reports; compiling and disseminating a repository of outstanding examples; and providing peer-critique.
The Youth Focused Evaluation TIG is designed to create an inclusive and participatory space for all evaluators that focuses attention on practices and outcomes of positive youth development and participation in a wide array of informal and formal contexts.
For More Info, Go to AEA's TIG Page
The Texas Evaluation Network was established as a not-for-profit interdisciplinary organization for the purposes of promoting and advocating evaluation and building evaluation capacity; providing professional development opportunities for Texas evaluators; and establishing a venue for networking and the exchange of theoretical, methodological, and practical knowledge related to the field of evaluation.
The Alaska Evaluation Network's mission is to support evaluation practices that are responsive to the uniqueness of Alaska's geographic, social, cultural, and administrative context; encourage effective evaluation; improve evaluation capacity within the state; and advocate for evaluation leadership. Its purpose is to improve the quality of evaluation research, theory and practice in Alaska by creating forums for dialogue, relationship-building, learning and collaboration.
The iMilwaukeeEvaluation! Association was created to promote scientic and educational purposes; provide a forum for professional evaluators throughout Wisconsin to network, exchange ideas and knowledge, and participate in professional development activities that promote excellence in the field; as well as establish and maintain a pipeline for evaluators of color and from other vulnerable and marginalized communities and carry out other activities that increase the number of under-represented evaluators practicing in the Milwaukee area and throughout the state of Wisconsin.
|eStudy - New Professional Development Webinars|
Intense & Online
In 2011, AEA also kicked off a more in-depth professional development webinar series - called eStudy. These are 3- or 6-hour courses offered by top facilitators in our field. We average one new course per month.
All eStudy presenters first gave a Coffee Break demonstration on their topic and most have offered workshops at AEA's annual conference. Then, based on popularity and participant feedback, those presenters are invited back to deliver an eStudy.
Did You Know:
- In 2012 we hosted 19 eStudy courses, ranging from Empowerment Evaluation to Consulting Skills to Using Tableau.
- On average, each 2012 course had 66 people in attendance, 21% of whom resided outside of the United States.
- Every 2012 course description can be viewed here: http://comm.eval.org/coffee_break_webinars/estudy/
Our top three best attended eStudy courses were:
Effective Alternatives to a Final Report with Kylie Hutchinson (118 registered)
Applications of Correlation and Regression with Dale Berger (98 registered)
Introduction to Quantitative Analysis with Kathy McKnight (91 registered)
- Our highest rated eStudy courses were:
Introduction to Evaluation with Tom Chapel
Creating Surveys to Measure Performance and Assess Needs with Michelle Kobayashi
Getting Started: Introductory Consulting Skills for Evaluators with Gail Barrington
Did you see one in that list that you wanted to attend but missed?
You'll have another chance - most of our 2012 speakers are coming back in 2013. We'll also introduce some new faces and topics. And, you may have heard - starting in 2013 the eStudy courses are recorded. Those who register now have access to the recording for 14 days. That means you can participate even if the live class occurs while you are sleeping! So far the 2013 eStudy lineup is amazing! Be sure to stop by and check it out.
Have you seen an outstanding speaker, teaching on a much-needed topic for evaluators? Send your suggestions to AEA's Director of eLearning Stephanie Evergreen at email@example.com.
AEA eLearning Update
Coffee Break Favorites
In 2011, AEA hosted 40 short webinars to a total audience of 1,289 individuals. And, our Coffee Break webinars reached audiences in 39 countries, covering six continents!
In 2012, we hosted 41 webinars to a total audience of roughly 3,700 viewers (not unique) in 49 countries.
The best-attended webinar of 2012 was Monitoring & Evaluation Planning for Projects/Programs by Scott Chaplowe, with 239 attendees. On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being "Excellent," audience members rated the 2012 Coffee Break demonstrations a 4.2, the same as 2011 (hey, we're consistent!).
Scott's webinar was part of a series cosponsored by Catholic Relief Services, American Red Cross/Red Crescent, United States Agency for International Development, and AEA's International and Cross Cultural TIG. All 4 webinars in this series were open to the public to attend. The recordings of these webinars are also open to the public and are among the highest accessed resources in 2012. Have an evaluation colleague who isn't yet an AEA member? Entice them to join by sharing the recordings of this series, which are usually only available as a member benefit:
Aside from that series, the top 5 viewed webinar recordings from 2012 are:
Are you ready to share your own tool or tip with your fellow evaluators? Talk to your favorite TIG about sponsorship and contact AEA's Director of eLearning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want see what's coming in 2013?
Learn More Here
|Ignite Sessions Introduced|
| Rapid Pace Presentations
Also new in 2011...and expanded in 2012.
Ready - Set - Go! The Data Visualization and Reporting (DVR) TIG launched AEA's first-ever Ignite the Night session at the Evaluation 2011 conference in Anaheim, California.
The session - part of a growing trend internationally - was unique for its focus on speed and aesthetics. Presenters had the thrill - and challenge - of just 5 minutes and 20 slides that automatically forward every 15 seconds. Whew! Talk about knowing your stuff and being ready to rock and roll!
The DVR TIG is aimed at helping evaluators better communicate using infographics and data visualizations. For the DVR TIG, the Ignite the Night session was a great way to focus on presentation quality with tips and tools galore. The event was deemed a fun-filled success, by the way, with even greater participation and fanfare then planned for Evaluation 2012.
Go to AEA's YouTube Channel to see recordings of many of the Ignite sessions
Website Draws More Than 217,000 Unique Visitors
AEA's website is the online hub where members and nonmembers alike unite - where they seek out crucial resources that will help them in their professional development, where they can stay abreast of upcoming events and opportunities and where they can secure a unique sense of community and camaraderie.
From June 2011 through January 2012, AEA's online presence generated more than 455,000 visits and more than 1.4 million pageviews. Traffic continues to grow yearly - as do the number of resources AEA makes available.
The chart below spotlights the most visited destinations online.
Go to AEA's Website
Social Media by the Numbers
New media are generating a greater visibility of and greater interest in AEA.
aea365 - AEA's Tip-a-Day Blog by and for Evaluators
- Over 300 people contributed to aea365 posts in 2012
- Almost 4000 people subscribe to aea365 as of December 31, 2012
- aea365 cleared 1,000,000 views in 2012 as measured by Feedburner
Check out aea365 on the web or subscribe to receive a Tip-a-Day via email
- Twitter is the #1 source of external non-search traffic into AEA's website.
- By the end of 2012 over 1200 people subscribed to AEA's Evaluation Headlines and Resources Compilation, which compiles the daily Twitter headlines into a weekly summary sent each Sunday.
Subscribe to AEA's weekly Headlines and Resources Compilation
- AEA's LinkedIn network numbers approximately 8,000 members now - slightly more than AEA's current membership.
- AEA's LinkedIn professional network indicates that 30% are international and we estimate that 50% are not currently AEA members.
Go to AEA's LinkedIn Page
- AEA's Facebook page has generated more than 2,000 "likes."
- Facebook provides a more visual way to share news of note, with photos a steady part of the newsfeed stream.
- AEA's Facebook page provides a mechanism to encourage interactivity among members as well as with interested nonmembers.
Go to AEA's Facebook Page
|Journal News & Trends - AJE |
American Journal of Evaluation
The American Evaluation Association serves a diverse constituency and this is partially reflected in contributions to its flagship journal, the American Journal of Evaluation (AJE). In 2012, approximately 36% of the Articles and Methods Notes published in the journal were authored or co-authored by international contributors; approximately 36% of published Articles and Methods Notes were authored or co-authored by individuals who listed their primary affiliation as something other than a university.
In 2012, AJE featured two Dialogue and Forum contributions - exchanges on important issues in evaluation practice with a broad appeal to evaluators in all kinds of professional practice settings. Look for more of these contributions in the next volume year.
"We continue to be interested in several kinds of high quality manuscripts, including those that advance new ideas and/or challenge current ways of thinking about issues related to the methods, ethics, politics, policies, quality, and use of evaluation," notes Thomas A. Schwandt, AJE's Editor-in-Chief. "Manuscripts that address broad influences on the professional practice of evaluation - e.g., the role of political and cultural contexts in evaluation, the institutionalization of evaluation, evaluation in a global society, evaluation and the use of technology, evaluator education and training, and so on - are also welcome."
Contact Schwandt at AJE@eval.org if you are interested in determining whether your current or planned writing is appropriate for publication in the journal.
Find Out More about AJE Here
|Journal News & Trends - NDE |
New Directions for Evaluation
New Directions for Evaluation (NDE) celebrated AEA's 25th anniversary with Issue #131, Really New Directions in Evaluation; a special commemorative issue that cast an eye to a sunrise rather than a sunset, and featured 20 articles by young evaluators. These new evaluators have challenged the field to think deeply about new contexts and issues in evaluation. In other issues, long standing evaluation topics saw new interpretations: in Issue #129, Jean King and Frances Lawrenz considered the impact of involvement on evaluation use; in Issue #130 Huey Chen, Stewart Donaldson and Mel Mark revisited Campbellian conceptions of validity; and in Issue #132, Boris Volkov and Michelle Baron provided an update on internal evaluation theory and practice.
Highlights of 2011-12:
- NDE readership/subscription surpassed the 10,000 mark
- Beginning with Issue #130, all NDE issues are downloadable as e-books
- NDE has been added to SCOPUS, in addition to the current abstracting/indexing in Cambridge Scientific Abstracts: Worldwide Political Science; Cambridge Scientific Abstracts: Social Services Abstracts; Sociological Abstracts; EBSCO (Education Research); ERIC; and Higher Education Abstracts
The NDE editorship has transitioned from Sandra Mathison, who served as Editor-in-Chief from 2007-2012, to Paul Brandon, who took the helm in January 2013.
A huge thank you to Sandra for her six years of service.
Find Out More about NDE Here
|Our Gratitude to AEA's Outgoing Officers |
Thank You to AEA Board Members, 2010-2012
It is with much appreciation that we thank the AEA Board members who served the Association from 2010-2012. We've valued their insight, experience and expertise. Join us in wishing them all a fond farewell - and nothing but the best for what lies ahead.
Our special thanks to:
Stewart Donaldson, Patricia Rogers and Tristi Nichols (shown left to right with 2011's AEA President Jennifer C. Greene, second from left).
They have all served their terms with dedication and enthusiasm. We'll miss you all and wish you nothing but the best.
|Sneak Peek at Evaluation 2013|
A Look Ahead from AEA's 2013 President Jody Fitzpatrick
In 2013, we will hold the annual AEA conference in Washington, DC. The presidential theme is The State of Evaluation Practice in the Early 21st Century. The theme is intended to describe what is going on under the "big tent" of evaluation today from fields as different as education, medicine, and transportation. What is evaluation practice like today? Who does it? What disciplines participate in this mighty transdiscipline of evaluation and what approaches do these disciplines bring to the tent? What questions do they choose to address? What methods do they use? In plenary sessions and in the Presidential Strand, we will hear from economists, physicians, political scientists, and others who practice evaluation. We will also hear from AEA members describing evaluation practice in their own arenas and reflecting on how their own disciplines, those of their stakeholders, and other aspects of the context affect their approaches to evaluation. I hope you will come and learn more about the breadth of evaluation practice today.
2013 promises to be an exciting year for membership and I look forward to working with you all!
Go to the Evaluation 2013 website to learn more or to submit a proposal
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