Conference Agenda

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Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 25th Sept 2022, 10:23:12pm CEST

Session Overview
ID 732: The Reflective Evaluation Practitioner
Wednesday, 08/June/2022:
12:35pm - 1:35pm

Location: Room - Galoppen 10

Session Themes:
Theme 2: Identity shift: transforming evaluators

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ID: 732
Sparking discussion (Submission of Abstract 2022)
Themes: Theme 2: Identity shift: transforming evaluators
Keywords: evaluation practice, evaluator identity, identity shift, transformation, complexity, reflective practice

The Reflective Evaluation Practitioner

Chair(s): Laura R. Peck (Abt Associates, United States of America)

Discussant(s): Katrina Bledsoe (Abt Associates USA), Mbuso Jama (Abt Associates, Britain), Frans Leeuw (Maastricht University​), Sanjeev Sridharan (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)

Both the field of program evaluation and the practice of being an evaluator have evolved meaningfully over the past decade. In response, this sparking discussion will pose two lines of inquiry, to which the panelists will share their thoughts, spurring the audience to reflect and share as well. The first line of inquiry pertains to observations about the way in which the field of program evaluation is evolving in response to the conference theme of shifting paradigms and challenging times. With those observations as a foundation, the second line of inquiry will involve the panelists and audience’s observations of the nature of their identity as evaluation professionals, and the evolution of that identity in applied context. Each speaker will prepare brief comments on each of these two topics, followed by moderator probes, audience engagement, and general discussion. This session is highly aligned with both the overall conference theme as well as specifically the conference’s objective (#2), which focuses on the identity shift and transforming of evaluators in practice, asking the question “from neutral observers to advocates, truth speakers, and agents provocateurs: what role should evaluators play?” The panelists are diverse among varied dimensions (gender; nationality; professional setting including academic, philanthropy, and applied evaluation research; and substantive areas of focus). Moreover, all of the panelists are already reflective practitioners, and this sparking discussion will give them an opportunity to share those reflections as a means to engaging in broader discussion. As such, we believe this session will be of keen interest to EES participants.

Laura R. Peck is a Principal Scientist at Abt Associates, with deep evaluation experience, in both research and academic settings. Dr. Peck specializes in estimating program impacts in experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations. As Director of Abt’s Research, Monitoring & Evaluation Capability Center, she considers methods across Abt’s diverse global portfolio.

Fiona Mactaggart is a monitoring and evaluation specialist at Abt Britain, with 10+ years of international development experience. Fiona designs and implements MEL systems for diverse and often complex programmes. She contributes to critical thinking on adaptive management and MEL practices, non-traditional MEL methods, and challenges of contribution vs. attribution.

Thomas A. Schwandt is Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He has written extensively about evaluation theory and practice; earned the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award (from AEA) for contributions to evaluation theory; and is on the Evaluation Advisory Panel of the UN Development Program’s Independent Evaluation Office.

Sanjeev Sridharan is Country Lead, Learning Systems and Systems Evaluation, India Country Office, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and is Founding Director of the Evaluation Centre for Complex Health Interventions, University of Toronto. Sanjeev has led evaluation capacity building projects in China, Chile, India, Scotland, and Sri Lanka.

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