The program for this year’s conference of the Australasian Evaluation Society is out – and I’m already having a hard time trying to choose sessions.
Some of the presentations that caught my eye include:
- Beyond Financial Accountability: Results Based Accountability and Making a Difference for Clients of Social Services in New Zealand Anne Weir
- Interactive teaching techniques for program evaluation short courses Duncan Rintoul and George Argyrous
- Evaluation: Why does selecting a method have to be so hard? Sally Lima
- Evaluator as Facilitator – A New Role for the Evaluator in a Changing World Jess Dart and Bethany Davies
- Practical solutions for evaluating complicated and complex policies Ned Hardie-Boys Marnie Carter Julie McGeary Mathea Roorda
- World Bank Justice For The Poor Program: getting real with realist based M & E frameworks Christopher Nelson
- Evaluating evaluation capacity building processes and activities in a large NGO Andrew Anderson
And many, many more.
Not to mention five fabulous key note speakers on the theme of Evaluation in a Changing World:
- Michael Quinn Patton (appearing virtually) on Developmental Evaluation for a Changing World
- Trisha Greenhalgh on Evaluating eHealth programmes: the good, the bad and the ugly
- Terry Buss on Policymakers as a constituency for evidence-based policy: expanding the partnership
- Nicoletta Stame on Evaluation and learning in the current crisis
- Jim Rugh on The Amazing Growth of the Global Evaluation Profession
The conference is not just for evaluators. Last week, when I was in Canberra teaching a course on ‘Evaluation for Public Sector Managers’ for the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, one of the participants asked if it would be a good conference for someone who is new to evaluation and whose role is not an evaluator.
One of the strengths of the AES conferences is the mix of people who are there – all of whom have a critical role to play in improving the quality of evaluation. There are evaluators attending (both those who work as external evaluators, and those doing evaluation within their own organisations), academics, managers, service deliverers and bureaucrats who use external evaluators and create the spaces within which they can (or can’t) do a good job, sometimes (not enough) representatives of the intended beneficiaries of programs, who are increasingly having a role in conducting and/or controlling evaluations.
AES conferences provide a space for discussions about how these different groups can work together and help us gain better understanding of these different perspectives. And they have a well deserved reputation for being welcoming and inclusive for newcomers.
See you in Adelaide!