The US just celebrated Thanksgiving, the annual day of thankfulness. Thanksgiving Canada celebrated in mid October (October 12). Although other countries celebrate versions of the holiday, originally the US and Canada celebrated in honor of the previous harvest.

Certainly, the Guiding Principles Guiding principles and the Program Evaluation Standards program evaluation standards provide evaluators with a framework to conduct evaluationEvaluation3 work. The work for which I am thankful.

Yet, could we (as evaluators) find thankfulness is what we do in other ways? Does making a difference (the essence of evaluation) provide evaluators with something that isn’t written in the Guiding Principles or the Standards? I think so. One of the things I wanted from my life (of three–that three again!) was to do good work. Not be a boss, not be a person in charge (although I did experience that) but to do good work. I think I’ve done that. Looking back over the 30 plus years I’ve been an evaluator, I can say, “I’ve done good work!” (I put the exclamation point in because this is something I know in my soul.) Does that mean I can stop? No. I still will do good work because I want to make a difference. I want there to be a world for my daughters and their friends. (No, I’m not retiring nor do I have a fatal disease–other than living.) I am being more philosophical than usual, perhaps. So can there be an evaluation model that demonstrates thankfulness? Perhaps. I’ll think on it. With the root of evaluation being value, there is much that brings value; there is much for which I can be thankful–evaluation is only part of that thankfulness.

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