In my long career as an evaluator I have found networking to be the most rewarding way to expand my evaluation contacts and knowledge. And the ultimate networking opportunity for Canadian evaluation work is the CES annual conference. This year we’ll be meeting in the beautiful city of Vancouver. Continue reading
There’s been a quiet revolution in conference presentations over the past ten years, and it’s all in the name of learning and knowledge translation. Gone are the days of banging out a deck of slides using a canned Power Point template or one covered with an organization’s logo and a list of six bullet points per slide. Nowadays, savvy presenters are putting a more thought and innovation into their presentations in order to better engage audiences and communicate their key messages. Many millennials seem to understand this new era of communication and design intuitively, while many of us from other generations are still learning.
Don’t let your great content get lost in a lacklustre presentation! Here are three quickie tips to rock your CES2017 presentation. Continue reading
My son is four and has been asking some really interesting questions lately. Did someone put the moon up in the sky? Can you turn the stars off with our light switch? From an early age, we learn about the world through questions, many of which parents can be entirely unprepared for. If there is one thing that I want him to keep alive and refine in school is the impetus to always ask questions, to think critically and to get answers, or as close as we can to them. Luckily this is something that we value in Canadian society. You can even grow up to be an evaluator! (Though fire fighter, doctor and nurse are still top of his mind)
The heart of evaluation lies in critical thinking. We are not experts in a program but we can help those who are part of it to step back, ask good questions, and uncover the answers. Fundamentally we help people look at what they are doing in a new way. Continue reading
It’s now only 7 and a-half months before the 2017 Canadian Evaluation Society Conference begins. Thinking back on the journey to date, one of the early tasks that stands out for me was the process of identifying a theme. I was tasked with leading that process so I started by sitting down with a pen and paper and a BIG cup of coffee. I wrote down words and concepts that I felt represented what I’ve been hearing my evaluation colleagues and students talk about. That list was revisited and revised many times after conversations with Co-Chair, Sarah Farina and a host of others who engaged in the conversation. Just looked at my computer files and my first theme document was created in May 2015!
After several meetings and months of collecting feedback from a wide range of people, in April 2016 we landed on our 2017 conference theme–“Facing Forward: Innovation, Action and Reflection”. After that meeting I celebrated (not with coffee!). We are pleased with the response we’ve received to date; this theme seems to be resonating well with people. So far, we’ve heard unsolicited comments like “love the theme”, “exciting”, “great theme”. This feedback has made us all very happy! J Continue reading
We are working hard to organize a dynamic and engaging CES 2017 Conference in Vancouver. CESBCY members voted in June 2014 to host the conference, and since that time, we’ve been working with CES National to create a meaningful event that brings together evaluators in diverse roles to share, learn and collaborate. We’ve passed a few important milestones:
- Selecting the scenic Westin Bayshore as the venue, with a layout that supports maximum networking
- Setting up an incredible conference planning team with our talented volunteers
- Testing innovative ways to support learning and networking at one-day conferences: CESBCY 2014 Health Evaluation Conference: Evaluation as a Learning Process and CESBCY 2015 Evaluation Conference: Collaboration, Contribution and Collective Impact
- Creating a conference budget and workplan
- Engaging volunteers via volunteerspot
We thank the team of CES 2015 in Montreal and CES 2016 in St. John’s, who have provided valuable guidance. Our incredible team of volunteers is made up of experienced and new evaluators from throughout BC and Yukon as well as national CES members located throughout the globe. We have received invaluable advice and insights from our colleagues at AEA. All in all, this experience is bringing out the best in our profession and we thank everyone who is working with us to make CES 2017 a great success.
Keep an eye out here for more updates!