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March 2016
Vol 19, Issue 3
Message from the President - Connecting Communities of Practice
From John Gargani, 2016 AEA President

The board and I have been busy over the past few months building connections with other professional communities that have a need for evaluation and often little familiarity with it. It's an important initiative. As I like to say, we are part of the largest profession no one has ever heard of. So when AEA reaches out to the business, design, or other communities, we may seem to come out of nowhere. It takes care and time to build these new relationships. So much, in fact, that we've started calling ourselves "ambassadors for evaluation."

Yet we have made amazing progress in a short period of time. AEA organized a panel of evaluators who presented at Harvard's well-respected Social Enterprise Conference and organized a similar panel and a keynote for Wharton's Social Impact Conference in San Francisco. From what I have been told, this is the first time evaluators have been part of these events. 

In This Issue
Diversity
p2i
Policy Watch
International Policy Update
AEA Membership Survey Results
Nominees Sought for AEA Representative to the IOCE
Meet Huilan Krenn: Incoming Board Member-at-Large
Announcing the 2015 AEA Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award Winner
AEA Call for Awards Nominations
New Job Postings
Register
Get Involved
About Us
Quick Links
Diversity - Space for Culturally Responsive Evaluation at Evaluation 2015
From AEA Graduate Education Diversity Internship Program Scholars, 2015-2016 (Thana-Ashley Charles, Dominic Combs, Dani Gorman, Agustin Herrera, Marques Hogans, Monique Liston, Nancy Mendoza, Ibukun Owoputi, Kenneth Pass, Leah Peoples, Jamie Vickery)
 
The Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) Program works to engage and support students from groups traditionally under-represented in the field of evaluation. Each year, the talented scholars are tasked with completing a comprehensive service project that challenges them to successfully apply learnings acquired through their respective university programs, host site experiences, and through the GEDI internship experience itself. Take a look at what this year's GEDI scholars have been working on since entering the program this fall.
 
This year, the AEA Graduate Education Diversity Internship (GEDI) program's 13th cohort was tasked with exploring how cultural responsiveness presented itself during the Evaluation 2015 conference. Cultural responsiveness is, in fields external to evaluation, an effort to support decolonization of communities, racial equality, and social justice. Evaluators retooled the concept and practice to address the lack of sensitivity to issues of privilege and power relationships (Hood, Hopson & Kirkhart, 2015). AEA's Cultural Competence Task Force worked for six years to develop an agreed upon understanding of cultural competence. These efforts were the direct result of a recommendation provided by AEA's W. K. Kellogg Foundation-funded Building Diversity Initiative, which highlighted the need for evaluators to incorporate cultural context and diversity in evaluation practice (AEA, 2011). Culturally responsive evaluation (CRE) has grown in popularity within AEA and is integral to its organizational values (AEA, 2015). However, culture and the ways that evaluators address this construct are not presented in any standardized way. Our evaluation interrogated how Evaluation 2015 attendees interpret and use CRE in their practice. 

Potent Presentations Initiative - The Research Behind the Rhetoric
From Sheila B. Robinson, Potent Presentations Initiative Coordinator 

Evaluation 2016 proposal submitted: Check! Time to relax and just wait for that acceptance letter, right? Wrong! Potent Presenters know that to be successful, you must make time to study the art and science of presentations and then practice applying this learning to your own presentations. After all, your brilliant material and fabulous personality will only take you so far. But don't take my word for it! Here's the good news: The Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i) website hosts a wealth of research on key aspects of presenting. 

Continue Reading
Policy Watch - FY 2017 Office of Management and Budget A-11 Calendar 
From Cheryl Oros, Consultant to the Evaluation Policy Task Force (EPTF) 

Oros
The president is responsible for submitting an annual budget to Congress. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) coordinates the budget preparation, providing procedural guidance through its Circular A-11.

The FY 2017 circular provides detailed discussions of the role of evaluation in the budget process. It describes evaluation approaches, evidence, data limitations, external factors, and alignment of evaluation and performance management. It also summarizes the requirements of the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 and describes the Performance.gov website, a centralized source of government performance information. 

International Policy Update - AEA Appoints Two Experts to New Global Network on Professionalization 
From Mike Hendricks, AEA Representative to the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE), with contributions from Jim Rugh, EvalPartners Co-Coordinator

AEA President John Gargani has just appointed not one but two of our very best experts to represent AEA on a new initiative from the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE) on Professionalization. This is a strong signal that AEA believes this new initiative is vitally important.

Continue Reading 
AEA Membership Survey: The Results Are In 
From Eric Barela and Michael Harnar, Co-Chairs of the Membership Survey Working Group

As evaluators we know the importance of data (quantitative and qualitative) and we understand how the data can reflect various realities or help uncover them. We also understand the importance of using data to improve our organizations and programs.

As co-chairs of the Membership Survey Working Group in 2014-15, and on behalf of the hard-working members of that group, we are proud to present the findings of the membership survey.

As the AEA Board of Directors embarked on discussions around the strategic direction of the organization, the Membership Survey Working Group was tasked with the biennial survey of the membership. The AEA Board recently redefined the Ends Goals Statements of the organization. (AEA practices a modified Policy Governance model wherein the Ends Goals Statements describe the end state if the organization is successful in its endeavors.) In addition to measuring various aspects of the membership (demographics, awareness of AEA programs/products), the Working Group was also asked to incorporate a few measurements of where we, as an organization, stood in relation to these Ends Goals Statements.

In the fall of 2014, the Working Group began structuring a survey instrument to measure these aspects and ideals. The first phase of the work included developing questions that measured what we intended to measure and were structured along best practices of research methodology. Plus we added in questions that connected back to the Ends Goals. The survey was released to the membership on April 16, 2015, and closed on May 5, 2015. The survey was completed by 1,713 respondents (approximately 25 percent of the membership at the time). The second phase of the work began by organizing and sifting through the results. The Working Group took several months to analyze the data and then hired a graduate student, Miriam Jacobson, Claremont University, to clean the data and assist in structuring the final analysis.

You can find the full report posted online. Here are a few of the findings as reported in the Executive Summary:
  • Survey respondents had fairly diverse demographic characteristics. As compared to the U.S. population with a graduate professional degree, survey respondents were more likely to be female and less likely to be Black or Asian. However, similar proportions were White or Hispanic, as compared to the U.S. population with a graduate professional degree. While the majority of respondents primarily resided in the United States (83.3%), a substantial proportion resided outside of the United States (16.7%).
  • Survey respondents represented a wide range of experience level, professional focus area, and professional setting. The most common work settings of survey respondents were college/university (29.3%) and consulting or research firm (22.2%), and the most common areas of work were health (40.5%), nonprofits (37.3%), evaluation methods (30.7%), and K-12 education (30.4%). The majority of survey respondents noted that their primary professional identity was as an "evaluator" (62.9%).
  • Survey respondents shared other aspects of AEA that they valued. When respondents were asked why they belonged to AEA (multiple responses possible), the most common responses were to "stay current on information about the evaluation profession" (91.3%), to "network and build relationships" (65.7%), and to "build my career" (43.7%).
The board of directors is using this data to inform their continued strategic work moving forward as well as for monitoring toward progress on the Ends Goals Statements.

Working Group Members

The following AEA members devoted countless hours in either designing the survey or interpreting the data and deserve our gratitude:

Moya Alfonso 
Johnny Baek
Sharon Baggett*
Eric Barela, co-chair*
Herb Baum*   
Janelle Clay*
Michael Harnar, co-chair*                
Peter Lovegrove*
Bianca Montrosse-Moorhead
Jonny Morell*                        
Jenica Reed*                          
Katherine Ryan
Nicole Vicinanza*                              
Jacquelyn Warnecke                          
 
*Participated in both the design and analysis phase
 
Miriam Jacobson, Graduate Student Research Consultant Analyst
Nominees Sought for AEA Representative to the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE) 2017-2019
Application deadline: Friday, April 29, 2016 

The International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE) is an alliance of regional, national, and international evaluation organizations (associations, societies, and networks) from around the world that collaborate to:     
  • build evaluation leadership and capacity, especially in developing countries;
  • foster the cross-fertilization of evaluation theory and practice around the world;
  • address international challenges in evaluation; and
  • assist the evaluation profession to take a more global approach to contributing to the identification and solution of world problems.
AEA's representative to the IOCE works with IOCE colleagues while representing a stance in alignment with AEA's mission, vision, and values. She or he acts independently, yet brings questions or concerns back to the AEA Board. The IOCE representative submits a written report to the board on her or his activities and relevant international evaluation issues each fall. The representative will serve a three-year term beginning January 1, 2017 and ending December 31, 2019.
 
The person serving in this position is likely a senior member of the evaluation profession, dedicated to the field, and with the breadth and depth of knowledge and practice required to speak authoritatively about evaluation issues in the international context. Individuals seeking to serve must have a demonstrated range of relevant experience in evaluation and a commitment to representing the diversity of people and the international perspectives represented in the field and in AEA's membership.
 
The IOCE Board conducts most of its business through e-mail and periodic Skype conference calls, but also meets face-to-face periodically (once per year or alternating years), usually in conjunction with the conference of one of its member organizations. A virtual annual general meeting takes place once per year. The AEA representative would have her or his expenses paid to attend the annual IOCE meeting and would be expected to attend this meeting and participate regularly in IOCE meetings and conversations.
 
To learn more about the work of the IOCE, please review the IOCE website. Our current representative, Mike Hendricks, is available for inquiries if you have specific questions regarding the position.
 
If you are interested in being considered as AEA's representative to the IOCE, please compile the following into a single file and submit it by Friday, April 29, 2016:
  • A one-page statement of interest telling us why you would like to serve
  • A one-page bio reflecting your evaluation background, experiences in international contexts, and commitment to the mission, vision, and values of the association
  • A one-page letter of support for your nomination from another AEA member
  • A current curriculum vita or résumé
Once the applicant is selected (June), there will be a period of transition with the current representative to help bring the new representative up-to-speed. Please send your submission as a single file via email to the AEA office at [email protected]. The selection of the next IOCE representative will be made by the AEA president and president-elect, in consultation with the AEA Board.
 
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact AEA President John Gargani at [email protected]. 
Meet Huilan Krenn: Incoming Board Member-at-Large  

Huilan Y. Krenn is the director of learning and impact at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.
 
In this role, Krenn is responsible for leading and managing evaluation system building and activities in support of all WKKF programming areas. She works closely with WKKF program leadership in measuring and understanding the outcomes and impact of programming strategies and investments. She also partners with foundation program staff, grantees, external evaluators, data partners and other evaluation stakeholders to deliver high-quality, evidence-based monitoring, evaluation and capturing of "lessons learned" around WKKF programmatic work.

Krenn joined the Kellogg Foundation in 2002, holding the positions of program officer for education and learning and evaluation manager for philanthropy and volunteerism, as well as hometown Battle Creek programming. She was also a member of the former innovation and design team, creating a research and design platform for emerging bodies of work by helping to explore, prototype, and assess issues and opportunities that could improve the impact of grantee partners and the foundation's own philanthropic practice.
 
Before joining the foundation, she was director of evaluation and research with a large child welfare agency, where she previously held the positions of director of research, assistant director of evaluation and research, research associate, and program evaluator. She was also an adjunct faculty member at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, for six years.
 
Krenn served on the board of the American Evaluation Association from 2005 to 2008. She has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles on the subject of program evaluation and early childhood education.
 
Krenn received both her doctoral degree in evaluation, research, and measurement and her master's degree in educational leadership from Western Michigan University. She also holds a master's degree in teaching English as a second language and a bachelor's degree in English and American language and literature from Nankai University in China. 
 
In her ballot statement, Huilan stated: 

"I would bring to the AEA Board the voice of large, national, private grant-making foundations, a voice not currently directly represented on the board. This is a critical voice to have in the AEA leadership given the importance of foundations in the evaluation world. In this regard, I bring two important foundation perspectives — that of having been a program officer overseeing grant making and a member and now leader of a foundation's evaluation unit."

We welcome Huilan Krenn and thank all who participated in the election process.
Announcing the 2015 AEA Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award Winner  
The American Evaluation Association honored seven individuals at its 2015 Awards Luncheon in Chicago, Illinois. Honored this year were recipients in six categories who are involved in cutting-edge evaluation/research initiatives that have impacted citizens around the world. We will spotlight each award winner in upcoming issues. In this issue, we extend our congratulations to George Julnes.

George Julnes, Professor of Public and International Affairs, University of Baltimore
2015 AEA Paul F. Lazarsfeld Evaluation Theory Award 

George Julnes, professor of public and international affairs at the University of Baltimore, has been teaching and writing about, as well as conducting, evaluations for 25 years. He served a three-year cycle as an elected board member of the American Evaluation Association (2012-2014) and serves on the two official publications of the American Evaluation Association. He is a section editor (professional values and ethics) of the American Journal of Evaluation and a member of the editorial board of New Directions for Evaluation. He is also on the editorial boards of Evaluation and Program Planning and the International Review of Public Administration. In addition, he has contributed as an evaluator and/or consultant for many government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Social Security Administration, and the National Science Foundation.

Julnes explains, "The Paul F. Lazarsfeld Theory Award is so special to me because of the people who were awarded it previously — considering the contributions of past awardees is both humbling for me and inspiring for our evaluation community."
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 2016, to be held October 24-29 in Atlanta. 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 Tuesday, May 31, 2016 in order to be considered. Learn more here.
New Jobs & RFPs from AEA's Career Center  
What's new this month in the AEA Online Career Center? The following positions have been added recently: 
  • Senior Research Analyst at Applied Survey Research (San Jose, California)
  • Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant at International Community Foundation (San Diego, California)
  • Associate Director of Institutional Research at Wellesley College (Wellesley, Massachusetts)
  • Senior Analyst at New Teacher Center (Remote)
  • Program Evaluator - Health and Human Services at Hennepin County (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
  • Senior Evaluation Officer at Institute of International Education (New York, NY)
  • Chief Informatics Officer at Partners in Health (Rwinkwavu, Rwanda)
  • Mid-Level Analyst at James Bell Associates (Arlington, Virginia)
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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.
phone: 1-202-367-1166 or 1-888-232-2275 (U.S. and Canada only) 
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