Reflections from the CES 2017 Conference

Jenn Dixon, the successful applicant for CES Nova Scotia Chapter funding to help attend the conference, was asked to reflect on her conference experience. Here is what she shared with us.

 

With the support of the CES-NS Branch I was provided a wonderful opportunity to attend the 2017 CES Annual Conference in Vancouver, BC from May 1-4th. Ongoing professional development, and feeling connected to the field of evaluation are so important, and I am grateful to CES-NS to help continue my growth and journey. The theme of this year’s conference was “Facing Forward: Innovation, Action and Reflection”. For myself, the theme was perfect timing as I am in the process of seeking my CE Designation and affirming that evaluation is the direction I would like to move my career.

Following with the theme of the conference, I thought the best way to sum up my experience is to share the new ideas (innovation), what I plan to apply to my work (action), and how my experience has influenced my path forward (reflection).

Innovation

While not necessarily categorized under the presentations that focused on innovation, a panel presentation I attended titled “Evaluation Rubrics – Delivering well-reasoned answers to real evaluative questions” left me with many new ideas for my own evaluation practice. Jane Davidson and her colleagues walked through the process of developing and using an evaluation rubric. The idea of using a rubric or matrix in framing and planning an evaluation is not completely new to me, but the ways that the panel described their own use of a rubric in various settings gave me a new appreciation and value that they can provide.

Action

One of the topics I was looking forward to learning more at the conference was evaluation capacity. In my current job, evaluation capacity building is key focus of my work. I was looking for new ways to build evaluation culture and capacity within my organization, as well as reaffirm some of the challenges and successes I have been experiencing. I attended a presentation by Isabelle Bourgeois, where I learned about an evaluation capacity diagnostic tool that is available for use, has been tested in several organizations, and is based on theory and research. I was excited to leave the conference and take back what I learned and share it with my colleagues, with the hopes of eventually using this tool to provide better insights into the organization’s strengths, gaps and opportunities regarding evaluation.

Reflection

Instead of reflecting on the evolution of evaluation, my “reflection” experience during the conference was personal and internal. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action were touched upon throughout the three days, from the first morning where the hosts acknowledged the land where the conference was taking place, to presentations about organizations and individuals have taken to heart the calls for action. I found myself reflecting throughout the conference (and after) about the importance of being aware, present, and acknowledging the culture, place, and context in which we live and work.

Research Impact Evaluation Forum

Research Impact Evaluation Forum

Saturday, September 30, 2017
9:00 AM – 3:30 PM ADT

Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Health, the National Alliance of Provincial Health Research Organizations, and the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation arehosting a Research Impact Evaluation Forum on September 30, 2017 in Halifax. This is a free event – lunch and refreshments will be provided.

The forum will be informal, engaging and interactive, using presentations and group discussions. The aim is to:

  • Bring together researchers, evaluators and decision makers to explore the evaluation of research impact.
  • Share the Canadian Academy of Health Science (CAHS) Preferred Impact Framework and the experiences of organizations in Canada implementing the framework.
  • Learn from Dr. Stewart Mercer, University of Glasgow, about their work on research impact
  • Gain an understanding of how knowledge dissemination and exchange is a key activity for research impact evaluation from three Nova Scotia researchers: Dr. Christine Chambers, Dr. Janet Curran, and Dr. Robin Urquhart

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/research-impact-evaluation-forum-tickets-36658015110

Lunch and Learn – The Journey to a CE Application: the REAL Evaluation Fellowship

The Journey to a CE Application: the REAL Evaluation Fellowship

Wednesday, August 23rd

12:00-1:00 (Atlantic)

Join us to learn about the journey of the REAL Evaluation Fellowship Programs’ experience in supporting an applicant for the CES Professional Designation Program (PDP). This program requires participants to complete a detailed application highlighting their knowledge, skills, abilities and experience with evaluation.

The REAL Evaluation Fellowship Program was developed by the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF) to build evaluation capacity in Nova Scotia. A developmental evaluation approach was used to develop tools and processes to support, guide and assess readiness for the CE application. This session will provide practical tools and tips that others can use to support their development as evaluators.

This presentation will be led by Robert Chatwin, CE and Dorian Watts (REAL Evaluation Fellow at NSHRF).

Please register for the webinar here: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/ab4868f4766824a57510d14dfea9e911

If you would like to attend this event in person at the Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation Office, please register by emailing: Steven.Cook@novascotia.ca

This Week! Lunch and Learn on Social Impact Bonds

Social Impact Bonds
Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
By Rob Assels

The Canadian Evaluation Society Nova Scotia Chapter is pleased to offer a free lunch and learn session on Social Impact Bonds. This session will be offered simultaneously in person and through webinar.

About the session:

A Social Impact Bond (SIB) is an investment vehicle that involves three parties: social service providers, investors and government. Typically the social service provider raises funds from private investors, who receive a return on their investment, paid for by government, if agreed upon outcomes are achieved.  Governments around the world are interested in SIBs as a means of supporting cost-saving preventative programs. SIBs also reduce the risk to government of spending tax payers’ money on programs that do not have the desired impact.

Currently, there are very few SIBs in world, and only four in Canada.  None of them have been around for long enough to measure their long-term impact.  Rob Assels is currently conducting a seven-year evaluation of two SIBs in Ontario and will speak about the challenges for service providers, government departments and evaluators who are interested in the opportunities that SIBs present.

To register:

You are invited to attend this free event in person or online!

To attend the event in person, please register here:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/lunch-and-learn-social-impact-bonds-tickets-35455136267

To attend the event via webinar, please register here:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/9b0ddb6c32d3953c7c24e00bf0acd2b8

If you have any questions please contact Dorian Watts – Professional Development Chair at pd@cesns.ca

ISSUES IN PUBLIC SECTOR EVALUATION THE IMPORTANT DEBATES

You are invited to attend

Issues in Public Sector Evaluation
The Important Debates

Wednesday, August 16, 2017, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm

Room 3087 – 3089, Kenneth Rowe Building
6100 University Avenue, Halifax, NS

Presented by students in the Master of Public Administration (Management) Program, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University who participated in an on-line course in program evaluation come together at Dalhousie for their intensive. They will share a summary of their papers which looked into an evaluation issue or evaluation debate. The presentations are organized into four panels with three papers in each, giving you an opportunity to engage in the debate.

The presentations will be followed by a reception hosted by the Canadian Evaluation Society Nova Scotia Chapter.

In the past this session has been deemed a wonderful venue for sparking discussion on evaluation issues and concerns. We encourage you to hear and support the students in their study of evaluation.

Although this is presented at no cost, we do ask that you register so we can prepare for the reception.

RSVP to cfamersvp@dal.ca or call 494-6328

We look forward to seeing you on August 16th!