I’m interrupting our regularly scheduled blog post on helping youth develop a hopeful purpose for a live update from a (very) rainy Cleveland Ohio, where over 3,000 program evaluators have gathered for the 2018 national conference of the American Evaluation Association. The conference theme is Speaking Truth to Power, and in a captivating plenary session yesterday the AEA president talked about the illuminating role of good evaluation in establishing credible evidence for program results, something that is especially important in the post-factual world that has descended upon us.
I am a long time member of AEA and have attended this conference almost annually for 20 years. The conference has been instrumental in my training as an evaluator, as I have slowly developed my own evaluation capabilities over time. Each year I learn so much about the practice of program evaluation, about the nuances of establishing credible evidence, and about the importance of bringing the voices of justice and equity to evaluation designs, because the decisions made on evaluation results must reflect a truth for all, not just a few. Continue reading