Dec
23

A new year beckons

Filed Under (program evaluation) by englem on 23-12-2011 and tagged ,

I’ll be gone next week so this is the last post of 2011 and  some reflection of 2011 is in order, I think.

For each of you, 2011 was an amazing year.  I know you are thinking, “Yeah, right.”  Truly, 2011 was amazing–and I invoke Dickens here–because 2011 “…was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.  Kiplinger’s  magazine used as its masthead for many years, the saying “We live in interesting times”.  So even if your joys were great; your sorrows, overwhelming; your adventures, amazing; the day-to-day, a grind, we live in interesting times and because of that 2011 was an amazing year.  Think about it…you’ll probably agree.  (If not, that is an evaluative question–what criteria are you using; what biases have inadvertently appeared; what value was at stake?)

So let’s look forward to 2012 

Some folks believe that 2012 marks the end of the Mayan long count calendar, the advent of cataclysmic or transformative events, and, with the end of the long count calendar, the end of the world on December 21, 2012.  Possibly; probably not.  Everyone has some end of the world scenario in mind.   For me,  end of the world as I know it happened when the carbon parts per million passed 350 (the carbon foot print for November was 390.31).  Let’s think evaluation.

Jennifer Greene, the outgoing AEA president, looking forward and keeping in mind the 2011 global catastrophes asks, “…what does evaluation have to do with these contemporary global catastrophes and tribulations?” (of which there were many).  She says:

  • “If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem” (Eldridge Cleaver). Evaluation offers opportunities for inclusive engagement with the key social issues at hand. (Think 350.0rg, Heifer Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and any other organization reflecting social issues.)
  • Most evaluators are committed to making our world a better place. Most evaluators wish to be of consequence in the world.

Are you going to be part of the problem or part of the solution?  How will you make the world a better place?  What difference will you make?  What new year’s resolutions will you make to answer these questions?  Think on it.

 

May 2012 bring you all another amazing year!

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