Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future

Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future[1]

This month’s blog post is a book recommendation. I am sitting in my hotel in Denver, thinking about what to write. Despite heading into 2020 feeling energized and hopeful for meaningful change, I have been feeling less than inspired as the quarter-end is nearing. My search for a topic began with “from:aea365” in my Outlook search box[2]. This title caught my eye, Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future.

A few clicks led me to the Web page for the AEA 2014 conference…in Denver. “In 2014, let’s use relationships and systems thinking to connect evaluation to the premier challenge of our time—nurturing a diverse and interconnected world with enough for all for generations to come. Let’s envision evaluation as fundamental to a sustainable, equitable future. Let’s unleash the power of evaluation and the desire of both evaluators and evaluation users to impact the world in positive ways.”[3]  

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INTEGRATING SYSTEMS THINKING: Through this lens, we will help each other critique evaluation’s boundaries and understand the complexity of its multiple perspectives, diversity, and relationships.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS: Consider how to build on your relationships with people from diverse disciplines, sectors, institutions, geographic regions, political perspectives, and cultural traditions.

UNDERSTANDING SUSTAINABLE AND EQUITABLE LIVING: How can evaluators and evaluation users sustain a program/initiative, its outcomes, its larger intended impact, its purpose, its direction, and/or its evaluation recommendations or processes?

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In the Next Issue

I will stop by the library as soon as I get home to pick up a copy. So in following blog posts, let’s discuss takeaways from the Visionary Evaluation for a Sustainable, Equitable Future. I am feeling some excitement again. I hope you join me.

 

 


[1] Beverly Parsons, Lovely Dhillon, Matt Keene, http://www.visionaryevaluation.com/book.html

[2] I subscribe to the American Evaluation Association ‘A Tip a Day By and For Evaluators’, or AEA365. They accumulate in my in-box and once in a while, I make the time to read them. https://aea365.org/blog/about/

[3] http://www.visionaryevaluation.com/AEA2014.html

 

About This Blog

We are on the brink of an evaluation renaissance. Smart grids, smart meters, smart buildings, and smart data are prominent themes in the industry lexicon. Smarter evaluation and research must follow. To explore this evaluation renaissance, I am looking both inside and outside the evaluation community in a search for fresh ideas, new methods, and novel twists on old methods. I am looking to others for their thoughts and experiences for advancing the evaluation and research practice.

So, please…stay tuned, engage, and always, always question. Let’s get smarter together.

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Teresa Lutz

Earlier in my career, I worked for a utility supporting the design and delivery of energy conservation programs through evaluation and research. At that time, I did not love the evaluation process or the evaluation community. The value of evaluation was a tough sell to my coworkers, and I agreed the evaluation process and results could be better. We wanted more timely feedback, recommendations we could implement, and insight beyond what we already knew. As a consultant, I hold those experiences close. I avoid doing ‘evaluation for evaluation’s sake’. I am fixated on figuring out the Big WHY of what we do, what works and what doesn’t. It is through knowing this that we can improve and prosper in this industry.

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