Evaluation Can Be Influential in Creating Change By Kim van der Woerd

My name is Kim van der Woerd, I’m a member of the ‘Namgis First Nation of Alert Bay, BC, and have been doing program evaluation work for over 20 years. I own and have run an all-Indigenous consulting firm called Reciprocal Consulting, for the past 14 years. I’m excited we are holding this year’s CES conference in Vancouver, the unceded homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil Wau-tuth peoples. The conference theme of innovation, action and reflection are particularly germane given our current socio-political climate. This year we have taken part in and witnessed unprecedented global social activism and discussion about rights and privileges that are at risk in many segments of our society.

I have the incredible honour of giving this year’s keynote address with Paul Lacerte from the Moosehide Campaign. The Moosehide Campaign is a grassroots movement in which men take a stand against violence towards Aboriginal women and children. Paul is a community leader and has been an advocate for the betterment of Aboriginal people for more than 20 years.

Together we will share our perspectives on creating broad social change, and the role evaluation can have in creating that change.

As evaluators, more and more, we are called upon to work with complex programs in complex environments. We are being called upon to have more skills and tools to tell the story of programs.

This year’s conference offers us the opportunity to ground ourselves and our work by reflecting on issues that we are personally passionate about; consider how we can innovate and go about creating allies and processes to tell the story of change; and use approaches that facilitate taking action that contributes to the kind of changes we want to see. The venues offered at this year’s conference, provide an opportunity for all of us to reflect on how evaluation can be influential in creating change, how it is political, and how our rights and privileges influence the story we tell. I look forward to seeing you all in May!

Kim van der Woerd is an independent consultant with Reciprocal Consulting, and is a keynote speaker at CES 2017.