45 amazing (and cheap!) evaluation workshops at the AEA conference in Minneapolis!

Early bird registration closes Sept 20th for the world’s biggest evaluation conference, the American Evaluation Association meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

With association president Rodney Hopson‘s thought-provoking theme – Evaluation in Complex Ecologies: Relationships, Responsibilities, Relevance – it should be a stimulating conference!

But what’s especially important to YOU as a genuine evaluator this week? AEA is a great chance to enroll in professional development workshops at a very reasonable rate! AEA member early bird rates are just $150 for a 1-day, $300 for a 2-day, and $75 for a half-day workshop. If you’re a full-time student it’s about half that!

Conference goers are spoiled for choice, with 45 workshops on offer this year!

(1) Qualitative Methods; (2) Quantitative Methods; (3) Actionable Answers; (4) Logic Models; (5) Interactive Practice; (6) Developmental Evaluation; (9) Propensity Score Matching; (10) Focus Group Research; (11) Evaluation 101; (12) Systems Thinking; (13) Grant Writing Skills; (14) Equity-Focused Evaluation; (15) Using Stories; (16) Experimental Research Design; (17) Introductory Consulting Skills; (19) Evaluation Dissertation; (20) Empowerment Evaluation; (21) Logic Models Beyond; (22) Intro to GIS; (23) Data Dashboard Design; (24) Using Effect Size; (25) Utilization-Focused Evaluation; (26) Longitudinal Data Analysis; (27) Multilevel Models; (28) Data Cleaning; (29) Focus Group Interviewing; (30) RealWorld Impact Evaluation; (31) Reality Counts: Participatory Methods; (32) Qualitative Research Strategies; (33) Advanced Evaluation Methods; (34) Theory-Driven Evaluation; (35) Transformative Mixed Methods; (36) Applications of Multiple Regressions; (38) Acknowledging the “Self”; (39) Metaphor to Model; (40) Intermediate Consulting Skills; (42) Case Study Methods; (43) Program Design; (44) Engaging laypeople; (45) Performance Measurement Systems


If you are interested in some of the ‘how to’ of genuine evaluation, this year Jane is running a 2-day workshop on real evaluation nuts and bolts:

Getting Actionable Answers for Real-World Decision Makers

Ever read an evaluation report and still wondered how worthwhile the outcomes really were or whether the program was a waste of money?

What if evaluations actually asked evaluative questions and gave clear, direct, evaluative answers?

Topics covered:

  1. big-picture thinking about key stakeholders, their information needs, and the evaluative questions they need answered;
  2. a hands-on introduction to evaluative rubrics as a way of directly answering those questions;
  3. guidance for designing interview and survey questions that are more easily interpreted against evaluative rubrics and capture evidence of causation; and
  4. a reporting structure that gets to the point, delivering direct evaluative answers that decision makers can really use.

This workshop combines mini lectures, small and large group exercises to build big picture thinking to focus the evaluation on what really matters, and the most important “nuts and bolts” concepts and tools needed to deliver actionable answers.

You will learn:

  • How to write a set of big picture overarching questions to guide the evaluation;
  • How to use evaluation rubrics to get direct, evaluative answers to these questions;
  • How to design innovative interview and survey questions geared directly toward answering evaluative questions and that capture evidence of causation;
  • Evaluation conceptualization and reporting tips that maximize the chances of a clear, to-the-point, and actionable evaluation.

This Monday-Tuesday course forms a great sequence with one of the 25 half- and 1-day workshops being offered on the Wednesday, such as Michael Scriven’s Advanced Evaluation Methods, Donna Mertens’ Transformative Mixed Methods and Evaluation, or Tererai Trent, Mary Crave, & Kerry Zaleski’s Reality Counts: Participatory methods for engaging vulnerable and under-represented persons in monitoring and evaluation.

E Jane Davidson runs her own successful consulting practice, Real Evaluation Ltd, blogs with Patricia Rogers on the entertaining Genuine Evaluation Blog, and is 2005 recipient of AEA’s Marcia Guttentag Award. Her popular text, Evaluation Methodology Basics: The Nuts and Bolts of Sound Evaluation (Sage, 2005), is used by practitioners and graduate students around the world. Jane’s work builds on Michael Scriven’s contributions on the logic and methodology of evaluation, combined with concepts and techniques from utilization-focused and theory-based evaluation, and translated into concrete, easy-to-follow practical methodologies that can be applied in a real-world setting.

Scheduled: Monday and Tuesday, October 22 and 23, 9 AM to 4 PM
Level: Beginner, no prerequisites


Over the next few weeks we will highlight some other sessions on the program that will be of particular interest to Genuine Evaluation followers. But in the meantime, most importantly …

Don’t miss early bird registration for the AEA conference – closes Sept 20th!

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