Newsletter: February 2015 

Vol 15, Issue 2

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Message from the President - AEA Seeks Exemplary Conference Proposals 


 

Dear friends and colleagues,

 

I am so pleased to report that proposals are flowing in for our next AEA conference, Evaluation 2015, which will be held in Chicago on November 9-14, 2015. We are sending the call for proposals to evaluation colleagues across the U.S. and the world in hopes of receiving a diverse and extraordinary collection of proposals to select from this year. We would love your assistance with getting the word out in the next couple of weeks. Please consider sharing the call for proposals with colleagues engaged in evaluation work who might not typically attend AEA conferences, know much about AEA, or might not be receiving our communications. We think this is the perfect year to reach out and broaden our community as we host what promises to be an inspiring, multicultural, and extraordinary evaluation conference. The deadline for submitting proposals is March 16, 2015, so please act fast so our guests have plenty of time to prepare their proposals.

 

Message from the Executive Director - Our Journey: A Look Back and Ahead 

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." -- Lao Tzu


When we look to measure our progress on a project, we often look ahead to all of the work that still needs to be done. But there is value in considering all that has been accomplished, too.

 

It has been my pleasure to serve as your executive director and as the leader of the AEA administrative management team over the 18 months of our journey together. During this time our team has learned much about AEA in general. More importantly, we have begun strengthening relationships with many individual AEA members. In order to keep you posted on our progress and plans for the future, I will be writing quarterly articles for the AEA Newsletter this year. I welcome your feedback and input on topics you would like me to explore in more detail in these articles. 

 

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In This Issue
Diversity
Policy Watch
p2i
International Policy Update
Board of Directors Call for Nominations
International Webpage
AEA Awards Call for Nominations
2015 AEA International Travel Awards
eLearning Update
New Job Postings
Register
Get Involved
About Us
Quick Links
Diversity - AEA Continues Its Work on Cultural Competence 
From Zachary Grays, AEA Headquarters 


 
In this month's Diversity column, Osman Ozturgut will update you on some of things the Cultural Competency Working Group has been working on.

 

The statement on cultural competence in evaluation was drafted by the Cultural Competence in Evaluation Task Force of the American Evaluation Association's Diversity Committee, reviewed by the AEA Board of Directors, approved by a vote of the full AEA membership, and disseminated to the public in 2011. Since then, a group of evaluation folks has gathered from around the country with the charge to disseminate the American Evaluation Association (AEA) Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation

Policy Watch - The President's 2016 Budget Evaluation Guidance 
From Cheryl Oros, Consultant to the Evaluation Policy Task Force (EPTF)

Oros Every year at about this time the president sends Congress a proposed budget for the next fiscal year. The president's 2016 budget contains ongoing efforts to better integrate evidence and evaluation into federal budget, management, operational, and policy decisions and to increase access to federal data for such efforts. These include: 

 

1) Building agency evaluation capacity and developing tools to better communicate what works:The Office of Government-Wide Policy will be standing up its Office of Evidence and Analysis this year to help agencies make data-driven decisions. Under the president's proposal, that office would expand to 10 employees, with a budget of $4.4 million.The new Evidence and Evaluation webpage can be found at www.whitehouse.gov/omb/evidence. For highlights of the Evidence and Evaluation Agenda, see the budget fact sheet, Building and Using Evidence to Improve Results, and the "A Government of the Future" chapter in the main volume of the FY 2016 budget.

 

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Potent Presentations Initiative - Potent Presentations Evaluation
From Stephanie Evergreen, Potent Presentations Initiative Coordinator 

Few things are more fitting for AEA than evaluators evaluating. We asked you to evaluate the Potent Presentations Initiative, as part of the post-conference survey. While the survey still suffers a bit from low response rates (ahem), we can see some happy growth for p2i. 

This year, a higher percentage of conference attendees said they had heard about the Potent Presentations Initiative and a higher percentage reported using the p2i materials in some way. 

 
International Policy Update - AEA Completing Its First Collaboration with Central Asian Evaluators 
From Mike Hendricks, AEA Representative to the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE), with contributions from Jim Rugh, EvalPartners Co-Coordinator

Next month sees the completion of a unique, first-time collaboration between AEA, EvalPartners, and evaluation associations in three Central Asian countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. Also unique is that the lead entity for AEA is not our central organization but our local affiliate in Washington, DC: Washington Evaluators (WE).

 

This collaboration has two phases. In phase one, funded for $10,000 by EvalPartners through its Peer-to-Peer (P2P) support program, Dr. Donna Mertens, former president of AEA, visited Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in December 2014 to deliver two workshops. The first was a three-day workshop to help evaluators from four countries (Russia also) develop their personal capacities in transformative mixed methods addressing gender- and equity-focused evaluations, an area in which Dr. Mertens is an expert. Almost 40 persons from civil society, government, and the private sector attended this workshop, which was developed only after conducting a needs assessment of participants.

 

Call for Nominations for the AEA Board of Directors  

Show your commitment to the value of the American Evaluation Association and help shape its future! You may nominate yourself or a committed AEA colleague for the board of directors. This year we will elect three board members-at-large and a president-elect. Nominating candidates for office is a valuable service to the association, and your thoughtful participation in this process is greatly appreciated.  

 

Only AEA members may serve on the AEA Board of Directors or as officers. The president-elect serves as president-elect in the first year, becomes president in the second year, and serves as past-president and secretary in the third year of his or her term. The president-elect and board members-at-large all will serve three-year terms, beginning Jan. 1, 2016, and will attend three in-person board meetings each year, as well as multiple, approximately monthly, phone-based meetings.

 

Submit your nominations soon! The deadline for nominations is Tuesday, March 31, 2015. 

 

Read the full call for nominations.

AEA Launches International Webpage 

AEA's International Working Group has been busy in the last year highlighting the ways that AEA and its members are engaging in the international community. A new webpage on the AEA website highlights these activities and celebrates the International Year of Evaluation 2015 by listing all of the international events planned throughout the year. This website will change and evolve over time and will continue to highlight international activities.

 

AEA has also created the AEA International Partnership Protocol, which is a program that connects Voluntary Organizations of Professional Evaluators (VOPEs) and AEA members. Submit your application now for consideration for the March 31 deadline. The Partnership Protocol offers the opportunity for AEA, by means of its executive director, in collaboration with the International Working Group (IWG) and Cross-Cultural Topical Interest Group (ICCE TIG), to support the strengthening of peer VOPEs through mutually beneficial partnerships. The program also assists with specific costs associated with the connection. The deadlines for application are March 31, July 31, and November 30.

 

Other features of the new AEA page include:

  • Listing of international blogs 
  • 2015 Exemplar Evaluations project description
  • 2015 Year of Evaluation
  • Information about AEA's International Travel Award Program

The AEA website has also added international academic programs on evaluation to its University Program section. We look forward to continuing to develop this page as a resource for AEA members. If you have ideas on additional information that could be shared, please contact [email protected]

AEA Call for Awards Nominations 

Nominations are now being accepted for the eight American Evaluation Association Awards. Please take this opportunity to acknowledge outstanding colleagues and outstanding work. Through identifying those who exemplify the very best in the field, we honor the practitioner and advance the discipline.

 

Aside from the Ingle Award, all awards are open to non-AEA members as a way to recognize contributions to the field. Self-nominations are accepted but should also be supported by a recommendation from an AEA member.

 

AEA awards recipients will be recognized at Evaluation 2015, to be held November 9-14 in Chicago. The awards presentation will take place during the Awards Luncheon at the annual meeting. Recipients are announced in the American Journal of Evaluation and each winner will receive a complimentary year of membership to the American Evaluation Association.


All nominations must be completed and received in the AEA office by Friday, May 22, 2015 in order to be considered. 
Learn more here

2015 AEA International Travel Awards for Conference Presenters  

The American Evaluation Association and the International and Cross-Cultural Evaluation TIG are pleased to invite professional evaluators living and practicing in developing countries or countries in transition to submit applications for International Travel Awards to attend and present at the 2015 AEA Annual Conference to be held November 9-14, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Evaluation 2015 will explore Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World and will be one of more than 20 events across the globe celebrating the International Year of Evaluation

 

This year we anticipate awarding nine International Travel Awards of approximately $2,000 USD each, plus waived conference registration, pre- and postconference workshops, and AEA membership. 


Click here to learn more.
eLearning Update - Discover eStudy Courses

Our eStudy program is made up of in-depth virtual professional development courses. Below are upcoming eStudy offerings: 


Introduction to Quantitative Methods for Evaluators 
March 17, 19, 24 & 26 
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST


Quantitative data offers opportunities for numerical descriptions of populations and samples. The challenge is in knowing which analyses are best for a given situation. Designed for the practitioner needing a refresher course and/or guidance in applying several univariate quantitative methods to evaluation contexts, the workshop covers the basics of parametric statistics, as well as how to report your findings. Mini lectures, computer demonstrations, and homework will introduce methods and concepts. The instructor will review examples of research and evaluation questions and the application of specific statistical methods appropriate to developing a quantitative data-based response.

Audience Engagement Strategies for Potent Presentations 
March 31 & April 3
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EST

 

Read more and register 


Calling all presenters! Whether you're facilitating a professional development workshop, giving a keynote speech, sharing your research at a conference, or conducting a meeting with stakeholders, you want your audience hanging on your every word, and walking away remembering what you have presented. In this eStudy, Sheila will share key strategies from The Audience Engagement Strategy Book, the latest in the family of Potent Presentation (p2i) tools, featuring more than 20 strategies for encouraging and supporting your audience to pay attention, and to intellectually engage with you, your material, and each other. She will also go well beyond the book to introduce general principles for audience engagement (such as knowing your audience and managing the Q&A), additional interactive strategies, and help build your capacity to create and select strategies most appropriate for your presentations. 
 

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: 
  • Association Coordinator - Northeast at Education Development Center (Waltham, Massachusetts)
  • Director of Assessment and Certification at University of Missouri (Columbia, Missouri)
  • Associate Coordinator - Southeast at Education Development Center (Washington, DC)
  • Research Associate at RMC Research Corporation (Denver, Colorado)
  • Director of Program Effectiveness and Innovation at PACE Center for Girls, Inc. (Jacksonville, Florida)
  • Director of Research & Data Services at Community Research Partners (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Specialist - Center for Weight and Health at University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, California)
  • Community Impact Associate at Minneapolis Jewish Federation (Minnetonka, Minnesota)
Register
Get Involved
About Us
AEA is an international professional association of evaluators devoted to the application and exploration of evaluation in all its forms.

 

The association's mission is to:
  • Improve evaluation practices and methods.
  • Increase evaluation use.
  • Promote evaluation as a profession.
  • Support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action.
phone: 1-202-367-1166 or 1-888-232-2275 (U.S. and Canada only) 
websire: www.eval.org
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