August 2016Vol 19, Issue 8

Message from the Executive Director -
Input and its Impact

From Denise Roosendaal, AEA Executive Director

As evaluators, you value input and feedback. As an AEA member, your participation, influence, guidance in AEA programs are critical to the organization. By participating in a working group, or in your TIG's conference session review process, or other member programming, your influence is easily seen. But you may not so readily see how you influence AEA through your feedback. Through informal and formal feedback opportunities, your influence is important and your input is valued. 

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In This Issue
Potent Presentations Initiative
EvalYouth Is Helping to Build Evaluation Capacity
Register Now for Evaluation 2016 on October 24-29
New Jobs & RFPs
Quick Links
Diversity - AEA's Partnership with CREA
From Zachary Grays, AEA Staff

Following a very successful collaboration at Evaluation 2015, the American Evaluation Association (AEA) is pleased to announce the continued partnership with the Center for Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment (CREA) to offer a unique thread of professional development training options as part of the pre- and post-conference offerings during Evaluation 2016, October 24-29, 2016, in Atlanta. CREA was established in 2011 in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with Stafford Hood, Ph.D., Sheila M. Miller Professor, serving as its founding director.  

CREA is a culturally diverse and interdisciplinary global community of researchers and practitioners in the areas of evaluation and assessment. CREA's primary focus is to address the growing need for policy-relevant efforts that take seriously the influences of cultural norms, practices, and expectations in the design, implementation, and evaluation of social and educational interventions. CREA is the only university-based evaluation and assessment research center with a primary focus on the centrality of culture and cultural context in this work. A core group of longstanding AEA members comprise the founding and active members of the CREA community.

Potent Presentations Initiative -
Inspiration Before Perspiration! Let's Get "Decked" Out!

From Sheila B. Robinson, Potent Presentations Initiative Coordinator 

Greetings, P2i-ers! Just under 60 days to the big event: Evaluation 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia! What are you doing to get your presentation ready? In addition to revisiting our set of p2i tools as you craft your presentation, check out other sites for some inspiration! 

One fabulous site, especially for slide design inspiration, is SlideShare, a social media outlet that is a part of the LinkedIn company that is useful for all types of presentation materials. It claims to have over 18 million uploads in over 40 content categories. Not only will you find creative slide design ideas as you flip through slide decks, but there is also an entire category section devoted to Presentations & Public Speaking. While you will certainly find inspiration for the design elements of your presentation, you'll also find plenty of good content on public speaking, from preparing your presentation's content (message) to working the audience (delivery). For example, there are slide decks on storytelling, using humor, being a memorable speaker, engaging audiences, dealing with anxiety, handling questions, and much, much more. 

EvalYouth Is Helping to Build Evaluation Capacity
From Bianca Montrosse-Moorhead, Assistant Professor of Measurement, Evaluation, and Assessment, University of Connecticut

Few evaluators would disagree that "capacity building" is key to the practice of evaluation. However, as a concept, a practice, or even as a shared priority, "capacity building" can mean different things in different contexts, and certainly can entail very different methods and practices depending on how an evaluator understands these meanings. For example, sometimes when evaluators speak of "capacity building," they refer to the various methods and practices involved in enhancing stakeholders' capacity to use evaluation. In such cases, it's obviously sensible to assess capacity on the stakeholder side. However, what I want to emphasize is that the stakeholder's capacity to use evaluation is only one meaning of "capacity building." Another crucial meaning is evaluators' capacities to do evaluation. This is to say that it is imperative to ask ourselves not only how we can enhance stakeholder's capacity to use evaluation, but also how we can enhance evaluators' capacities to do evaluation especially young and emerging evaluators. Nowhere has the importance of seeing this side of the capacity coin been more evident to me than in my role as an AEA representative to, and global co-chair of, the EvalPartners network, EvalYouth.

EvalYouth Goals

One main goal of EvalYouth is to promote Young and Emerging Evaluators (YEE), including young women, to become competent, experienced, and well-networked professionals who contribute to evaluation capacity at national, regional, and international levels. Importantly, this includes both aspiring evaluators (pre-service) and those new to the profession (in-service). To accomplish this goal, we work with Voluntary Organizations for Professional Evaluation (VOPEs) around the world on national (e.g., AEA) and regional (e.g., Africa, Europe, Middle East, Latin America, etc.) levels.
EvalYouth Priorities

EvalYouth was formally launched at the 2015 Global Evaluation Week at the Parliament of Nepal in Kathmandu with the help of 25 YEEs from across the globe.
EvalYouth priorities for the next three years are:
  1. As part of a knowledge building and networking campaign, develop and promote an EvalYouth mentoring program, as well as organize EvalYouth conferences to share knowledge, learning, and best practices, and to strengthen YEE involvement with existing international and regional evaluation conferences;
  2. As part of an advocacy campaign, work with VOPEs to bolster the inclusion of YEEs in their governance bodies and in capacity-building programs; and
  3. As part of an awareness campaign, map the multiple YEE mentoring opportunities across the globe as a means to better understand this pathway for increasing YEE capacity to do evaluation.
Support for EvalYouth

EvalYouth is truly a global network. Presently, 28 individual EvalYouth members, who are also active members of their VOPEs, serve on the executive committee or task forces and represent multiple geographic regions such as Africa, Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North America. In addition, UNICEF has recently agreed to serve as the all-important home organization for EvalYouth. In addition to EvalPartners, a number of organizations across the globe also support EvalYouth, as illustrated in the accompanying visual. Finally, EvalYouth activities have been, or are currently funded by, the MasterCard Foundation, UNICEF, and the government of Finland. Through our social media postings, we currently reach more than 1,000 evaluation professionals and organizations - and that number increases daily. Support for EvalYouth is strong and growing across the globe.
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Register Now for Evaluation 2016 on October 24-29
The 2016 evaluation conference will be held October 24-29, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia. This year's theme, Evaluation + Design, will focus on the intersection of design and evaluation. After all, everything we evaluate is designed; every evaluation we conduct is designed; and every report, graph, or figure we present is designed. The theme will focus on three areas:
  • Program Design - organizations are designing and implementing programs to improve the social or natural world.
  • Evaluation Design - evaluation design integrates evalution theories, approaches, nd methods to achieve a set of intended purposes in a specific context.
  • Information Design - in order to be successful in communicating to diverse audiences about complex topics, evaluators must develop strong information design skills, including data visualization and storytelling techniques.
Connect with professionals from around the world who conduct, use, support, and study evaluation this fall. With 40 workshops and 850 sessions, this conference provides the opportunity to tailor your experience and explore how design and evaluation can work together to strengthen programs, benefit the environment, and improve lives.

To learn more about the upcoming conference, visit the website.
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: 
  • Assistant Researcher at Center for Public Partnerships and Research (Lawrence, Kansas)
  • DPRK Evaluation at American Friends Service Committee (Dalian, China)
  • Evaluation & Learning Manager at Asian Youth Center (San Gabriel, California)
  • Project Manager, Research and Evaluation at NEEA (Portland, Oregon)
  • Evaluation Consultant at World Vision, Inc. (Esteli, Leon, Nicaragua)
  • Sr. Data Analyst, MCAT at AAMC (Washington, D.C.)
  • Quality Assurance Specialist at World Education Services, Inc. (New York, New York)
  • Evaluation Officer at the Colorado Health Foundation (Denver, Colorado)
Get Involved
Welcome, New AEA Members!
Click here to view a list of AEA's newest members.  
About Us 
AEA is a 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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