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  • Shelley Stromholt

3 Evaluation Resolutions for 2020


Image by Jamie Street - Unsplash

Hello 2020! Let's start off with three resolutions to head in the right evaluation direction this year.


1. Get involved with local evaluation organizations.


In Seattle, we are lucky to have the recently formed Seattle Evaluation Association, which aims to support capacity-building in our region for evaluators and other stakeholders whose work overlaps with evaluation.


Image by CoWomen - Unsplash

Even if you don't think of yourself as an evaluator, if you support your organization to reflect on your work together, collect data and make meaning from it, or report to stakeholders, you'll benefit from an evaluation network. This year, in addition to signing on as the President-elect, I'll also head up the Independent Consultants SIG (special interest group) for the Seattle Evaluation Association.


The American Evaluation Association is the national group in the U.S. and there are a number of local affiliates across the U.S. If there isn't one near you, social media has been a fruitful way for me to connect with others, find resources, and stay on top of what's happening in evaluation.


2. Commit to year-long learning.


Conferences are such a good chance to keep on top of what's going on in the field and meet others who are doing this kind of work. This year there are several amazing conferences on my list and I will probably attend one or two, including the American Evaluation Association conference. This year it will be in Portland, Oregon (my hometown!), hosted by OPEN.


Image by The Climate Reality - Unsplash

Other conferences on my radar for 2020:


Summer Evaluation Institute: Atlanta, GA


Culturally Responsive Evaluation and Assessment: Chicago, IL


American Educational Research Association: San Francisco, CA



3. Raise the bar for equitable evaluation approaches.


I'm particularly excited about this one because of all of the amazing organizations out there doing equitable evaluation work.


"Equitable evaluation is an approach that addresses the dynamics and practices that have historically undervalued the voices, knowledge, expertise, capacity, and experiences of all evaluation participants and stakeholders, particularly people of color and other marginalized groups."


(Stern, A., Guckenburg, S., Persson, H., & Petrosino, A. (2019). Reflections on applying principles of equitable evaluation. San Francisco, CA: WestEd.)


Image by Nick Fewings - Unsplash

In addition to the report quoted above, there are many great sharing resources out there for centering this in all of our work. At Aspect, we're currently developing a self-assessment for organizations or teams to evaluate their own progress as they implement equitable evaluation strategies. Here are some great resources from our evaluation colleagues:


Vantage Evaluation started a monthly Equity Learning Club.


Check out the EE Framework from the Equitable Evaluation Initiative.


Digital Promise wrote about Empowering Community Perspectives in Evaluation Research.





Hope these resolutions help inform your goals for the year! Looking forward to seeing what's in store.