2021 Concurrent Sessions

 

October 8

Concurrent Session I (12:00 - 1:15 pm ET)

Dissemination Derby: Collective Exploration of Different Ways to Spread Findings and Make Big Ideas Stick –Jennifer Borland

 

This session will help you move beyond traditional modes of dissemination by considering new and effective ways to share evaluative findings with a variety of audiences. Together we will explore shorter reporting styles--including blog articles, take a look at new trends in infographics and other visualization strategies, consider ways to get more bang from conference presentations, and ponder other innovative approaches to dissemination--including short videos or animated clips--in addition to talking about new trends in reporting and publication.

Format: Think Tank

Skill Level: All Levels

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Professional Practice, Methodology, Context, Planning & Management


Addressing Nonprofit Advocates' Needs Through Evaluation Research

Annette Gardner, Susan Hoechstetter, & Shannon Williams

 

Now more than ever, nonprofit advocates need to know what is working--and what is not--in terms of advancing their agendas. Although a robust field of advocacy and policy change evaluation has emerged over the past two decades, many of the resources that have been developed are not known or used by advocates themselves. To shed light on the evaluation challenges that nonprofit advocates face, we surveyed hundreds of U.S. nonprofits in Spring 2021. This session will share our survey findings, including our recommendations on how evaluation methods and resources can be made more accessible for advocates.

Format: Panel

Skill Level: All Levels

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Context


 

Concurrent Session II (1:45 - 3:00 pm ET)

Free-listing to Build and Understand Cultural Domains – Caitlyn Placek


Free-listing is a semi-quantitative technique commonly used by anthropologists to measure and understand items that form a cultural domain. This method is easy, rapid, and ideal for understanding contextual factors that support or limit success of a program. In the first part of the workshop, participants will learn how free-lists are used to develop cultural models and see examples of how free-listing has been incorporated into program evaluation. In the second part of the workshop, participants will learn how to collect and analyze free-lists.

Format: Workshop

Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Methodology, Context


The ECB Superpower: Competencies for Building Evaluation Capacity Ann Marie Castleman


Much has been written on what evaluation capacity building (ECB) is, the need for ECB, frameworks for conducting ECB, and ECB strategies and outcomes , but one question remains: what competencies should evaluators doing ECB possess? This presentation will share findings from a research study that examined the competencies needed for practicing ECB and how they are similar and different from evaluator competencies. The results may help ECB practitioners examine their own knowledge and skills for building the capacity of others to conduct and use evaluation.

Format: Expert Lecture

Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Professional Practice


Supporting Our Expert Clients: Problem Solving by NOT Providing Recommendations – Laura Sundstrom & Judith Steed

Evaluations provide clients with the process and data they need to be problem solvers. Despite this, evaluators are frequently asked to solve problems for their clients by providing recommendations for improving programs based on evaluation findings. As a result, our clients remain passive consumers depending on evaluation output rather than engaging with the process. To encourage active participation and recognize clients' expertise, evaluators should support clients to make sense of the findings and generate their own next steps. In this session, the presenters will share their approach to recommendations and facilitate a discussion around strategies for supporting clients to generate recommendations.

Format: Expert Lecture

Skill Level: All Levels

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Professional Practice


October 15

Concurrent Session I (12:00 - 1:15 pm ET)

   

Tell Your Story: Communicating Outcomes to Stakeholders – Jessica Martone, Leanne Tortez, & Adrienne Celaya

 

It is critical that to be able to craft your evaluation story for different clients and stakeholder groups. Understanding how to highlight the important outcomes of programs using the appropriate communication methods will build your evaluation capacity, as well as help your clients better tell their story so they can win funding. This session will explore best practices for telling stories, different media to use in storytelling, and important things to remember when crafting your story. Through interactive breakout rooms and worksheets, you will learn how to make your next story effective and memorable.

Format: Workshop

Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Context, Planning & Management


Evaluation Behind the Razor Wire: Collecting Data from Incarcerated PopulationsKelsey Watterson, Caitlyn Placek, & Eric Budzielek

This session will discuss conducting evaluations with individuals involved in the criminal justice system. The presenters will provide examples from several evaluations conducted at a community behavioral health facility in Indiana. Ethical considerations of working with this population will be discussed along with an overview of what to expect when visiting a correctional facility. The presenters will share their approach to including this marginalized group in evaluation reporting using success stories, interviews, and program feedback from participants. They will also provide tips for collaborating with local institutions and discuss the importance of developing relationships with sheriffs, jail staff, and other community partners.

Format: Panel/Expert Lecture

Skill Level: All Levels

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Methodology, Context, Planning & Management, Interpersonal


Measuring Stakeholder Engagement: Rethinking  Based on Research, Practice, and a Systems Approach William Pate & Anh Thu Hoang

Stakeholder engagement is a fundamental component in theories of change and logic models. However, as currently practiced, it is largely nominal and treated as a checklist item to be completed once. This interactive session will explore what meaningful stakeholder engagement looks like and what is required to truly involve nontraditional stakeholders in the program cycle. The presenters will provide a framework for evaluators and program managers and demonstrate how this approach leads to better outcomes with increased diversity, equity, and inclusion (empowerment).

Format: Think Tank

Skill Level: All Levels

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Methodology, Context


Concurrent Session II (1:45 - 3:00 pm ET)

Evaluating the Value of Evaluation:  Curiosity, Meaning Making, and EngagementJudith Steed & Laura Sundstrom

 

In these challenging times, evaluation is positioned to show organizations how to own, enhance, and improve their programs in empowering ways. Too often, practitioners have evaluation thrust upon them. The Learning Driven Evaluation Model presents evaluation as a rigorous and expansive practice that promotes learning and change, and recognizes that practitioners are the experts in their own programs. The model shows how staff can engage diverse voices and find new meaning to leverage the challenges we face. This lecture and discussion will explore curiosity and meaning making in support of engagement and learning to leverage evaluation at its best.

Format: Expert Lecture

Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Context


Expanding Your Data Visualization Skills with the Chart Selection Matrix 

Mindy Hightower King


 

For those who regularly analyze and visualize data, it can sometimes feel like you use the same charts day after day. This data visualization workshop will provide an opportunity to create and animate data displays that may be new to your work (e.g., area, bullet, and slider comparison charts). Participants will be introduced to the Chart Selection Matrix, and will use Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint to practice their skills during the session.

Format: Workshop

Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Methodology


Design Thinking for User-Centered Evaluation Asma Ali

Despite the growing popularity of user-centered frameworks that facilitate the integration of stakeholders’ needs, life experiences, and understandings in evaluation processes, few instructional guides exist to support the engagement of underrepresented communities or other stakeholder groups. Often utilized in instructional and product design, Design Thinking (DT) and Human Centered Design techniques provide a guided process that is time-limited and utilizes participatory strategies that are transferable for various evaluation settings. The facilitator will share brief examples from her own work and guide participants in how to employ the five hands-on tools and techniques of DT. Participants will have the opportunity to work in small groups to apply these techniques to a sample project. This skill-building session will provide an opportunity for participants to more effectively integrate stakeholder experiences in evaluation.

Format: Workshop

Skill Level: All Levels

AEA Evaluator Competencies: Methodology, Context, Interpersonal

 


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