Newsletter: March 2015 

Vol 15, Issue 3


Message from the President - Record Number of Proposals Submitted for 2015 Annual Conference!


Dear Colleagues,


Many thanks for reaching out to your evaluation friends around the world and encouraging them to submit proposals for our next annual AEA Conference, Evaluation 2015, held November 9-14, 2015, in Chicago. We received a record number of conference proposals this year - we even passed the 2,000 mark for the first time ever! The TIGs and Conference Committee will be hard at work over the next couple of months reviewing the proposals and putting together the strongest and most exciting conference program possible under the theme of Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World: Learning from Evaluation's Successes Around the Globe.


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In This Issue
Policy Watch
International Policy Update
Call for Evaluation Exemplars
eLearning Update
New Job Postings
Get Involved
About Us
Quick Links
Diversity - We're Looking for a Few Good GEDI Host Sites 
From Zachary Grays, AEA Headquarters 

The American Evaluation Association is proud to announce the search for host sites to serve the 2015-2016 Graduation Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) cohort. The 11th GEDI cohort is coming to a close, with their commencement ceremony fast approaching at Summer Institute 2015 in Atlanta. AEA is incredibly proud of our seven scholars who have worked their way through the rigors of the program. (You can get to know them here.)


Potent Presentations Initiative - Get Help With Your Slides Before the Conference
From Stephanie Evergreen, Potent Presentations Initiative Coordinator 

You've heard plenty of tips from the Potent Presentations Initiative. You've become convinced that typical slides don't teach well - even for academic audiences. You've grown more aware of weaker presentations from your fellow evaluators at AEA. You've even dabbled in redesigning your slides, focusing your message, and giving attention to delivery. But sometimes, even with all those intentions, you can get stuck. You need some coaching to take your slides from pretty good to totally amazing. 


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Policy Watch - Evidence-Based Governing Initiatives 

From Cheryl Oros, Consultant to the Evaluation Policy Task Force (EPTF)



Recent months have brought some interesting activity in what appears to be a continuing and heartening trend to advocate for the use of evidence in government management and decision making. Last month we covered guidance in the Obama administration's new FY 2016 budget emphasizing the generation and use of evidence. This month, bills are being reintroduced and Congressional hearings have been held. In addition, other groups have sponsored events on evidenced-based government. AEA has been monitoring and encouraging efforts to increase the conduct and use of evaluations and has provided testimony and endorsed portions of bills relevant to evaluation. Here are some highlights.


International Policy Update - United Nations, Evaluation of EvalPartners, and More Global Events
From Mike Hendricks, AEA Representative to the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE), with contributions from Jim Rugh, EvalPartners Co-Coordinator

This has been a very busy month for evaluation around the globe. As you'll see below, the U.N. Secretary-General offered strong support for evaluation, the three-year-old EvalPartners Initiative was evaluated, and six events were held on four different continents to celebrate EvalYear 2015. These are exciting days to be in evaluation!

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AEA Call for Evaluation Exemplars 
"AEA is encouraging all evaluators to reflect on the evaluation practice to present examples of success and challenges to contribute to the goal of highlighting exemplary evaluations conducted in countries at all points along the development continuum. And, we look to explore what facilitates exemplary evaluations - what are the enabling factors, actions, and drivers of success?" -- Dr. Stewart Donaldson, AEA President, 2015


As part of the Evaluation 2015 conference, AEA is collecting samples of evaluation exemplars through the participating Topical Interest Groups. The conference is a great place to highlight evaluations that had an impact or demonstrate exemplary practices or methodology. The deadline for submission to the appropriate TIG is April 30, 2015. Please read over the Evaluation Exemplar Guidance
document for further information. The selected exemplars will be highlighted on the AEA website and some selected exemplars will be highlighted at the Evaluation 2015 conference. Each participating TIG is creating its own criteria for how to review these submissions. Including information from the evaluation user will be critically important to speak to the evaluation purpose, scope, stakeholder engagement, and methods - such as of evidence, evaluation criteria used, and how the evaluation was managed. Please contact your TIG leader for more information.
eLearning Update - Discover eStudy Courses

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

Audience Engagement Strategies for Potent Presentations 
April 1 & 3
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EST

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

Intermediate & Advance Introduction to GIS (Geographic Information System) 
in Evaluation
April 21 & 23
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST

This eStudy course intends to illustrate the power of GIS, and how it can be used in evaluation practice. Participants in this eStudy will be presented with examples of how GIS can be used for analyzing program implementation and impact data. This will be a step-by-step demonstration of some of the main features of GIS and their applicability to program evaluation. Examples will be derived from programs to showcase the types of evaluation questions that GIS can answer through its geostratistical capabilities and visual mapping abilities. This session intends to connect the theoretical application of GIS to practical application with the hope that practitioners would be able to implement the suggested approaches in their evaluation practice. Participants will also be given a list of relevant GIS resources to help with their professional development. 

Beginning Developmental Evaluation 

April 20, 22, 27 & 29 

2:00 - 3:30 p.m. EST 

Read more and register

This eStudy is geared for an audience with beginner-level expertise in developmental evaluation (DE). DE is especially appropriate for innovative initiatives or organizations in dynamic and complex environments where participants, conditions, interventions, and context are turbulent, pathways for achieving desired outcomes are uncertain, and conflicts about what to do are high. DE supports reality-testing, innovation, and adaptation in complex dynamic systems where relationships among critical elements are nonlinear and emergent. Evaluation use in such environments focuses on continuous and ongoing adaptation, intensive reflective practice, and rapid, real-time feedback. The purpose of DE is to help develop and adapt the intervention (different from improving a model).

This evaluation approach involves partnering relationships between social innovators and evaluators in which the evaluator's role focuses on helping innovators embed evaluative thinking into their decision-making processes as part of their ongoing design and implementation initiatives. DE can apply to any complex change effort anywhere in the world. Through lecture, discussion, and small-group practice exercises, this workshop will position DE as an important option for evaluation in contrast to formative and summative evaluations as well as other approaches to evaluation.

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: 
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at FHI 360 (Washington, D.C.)
  • Director, Office of Assessment & Evaluation at Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland)
  • Evaluation Specialist at CAI (New York City)
  • Business Analytics Officer at Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County (Boynton Beach, Florida)
  • Project Manager at Vital Research (Los Angeles, California)
  • Program Evaluator at Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services (Culver City, California)
  • Senior Research and Evaluation Officer at The Freedom Fund (London or New York)
  • Senior Evaluator at SmartStart Evaluation and Research
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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.
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