Conference Theme

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Facing Forward: Innovation, Action, and Reflection

The 2017 CES Conference will focus on innovation, action, and reflection. We will explore the latest methods and approaches evaluators are applying in a wide range of contexts and consider the ways in which evaluators are incorporating reflection into practice.

This theme is meant to engage both internal and external evaluators in exploring the different ways in which they are thinking about their role and how they conduct evaluations. We will reflect on our work, explore ideas, share experiences and learn from one another about how to meet the new and emerging demands evaluators are facing in an era of social media, economic challenges, systems thinking, globalization and other emerging trends in our society.


  • Different roles for evaluators (e.g., change agent, social advocate, program planner, and coach) and how traditional evaluator roles are evolving.
  • Development, adoption and adaption of new approaches and paradigms being used to conduct evaluation in organizations, communities, or systems.
  • Innovative approaches that are emerging from developments in technology, big data, systems thinking and other areas.


  • The impact of evaluation on programs, organizations, and systems.
  • Approaches evaluators are using to facilitating the use of evaluation to inform action and decision-making.
  • Approaches to building learning organizations that embrace evaluation.


  • Lessons learned through practice about what works and doesn’t work in successful evaluation.
  • Tools that help us maintain a reflective practice as individuals, groups, and a profession–whether we are students, beginners or seasoned practitioners.
  • Evaluations that highlight the tools and approaches we use to conduct studies that are respectful of multiple peoples and cultures.