The theme of 2015’s Conference, to be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 7 to 9 September, is Reaching across boundaries.
Evaluation spans the lines we draw between ourselves – across sectors, disciplines, organisations, culture, political borders and layers of hierarchy. Evaluation has the power to integrate values horizontally (among peers) and vertically (across levels of authority). Over the past decades its use has moved from proving to improving, from measuring to mainstreaming, from education to all sectors and disciplines.
The UN’s designation of 2015 as the International Year of Evaluation advocates and promotes evaluation and evidence-based policy making at international, regional, national and local levels. The AES Conference 2015 provides a platform to engage with that global dialogue. Together we will use evaluation to bring together our values, hopes, thinking, skills, and experiences in pursuit of a better tomorrow.
This year’s theme asks us to think critically about the boundaries we put between ourselves in terms of sectors, disciplines, organisations, cultures, political borders and layers of hierarchy, and looks to the power of evaluation to transcend those boundaries. What does the year of Evaluation mean – or should mean, for our areas of interest? At the 2015 conference we are asking for proposals that contribute to the following conference themes:
1. Programs, government and policy
What is happening at each level of government in terms of evaluation capacity, policy and methods? This can involve evaluation commissioners, programs providers and other stakeholders. What collaboration is taking place across sectors/organisations to spread evaluation capacity and understanding? What does this mean for the future of evaluation?
2. Indigenous evaluation
What does the year of evaluation mean for the indigenous sector. What should it mean? Can we demonstrate culturally responsive practices in evaluation using a variety of evaluation approaches? What challenges exist within the discipline and what can be done to solve them?
3. Enrich our theories
Let us demonstrate how we learn from others as we cross the boundaries of disciplines and enrich the skills of the evaluator as well as looking at new and different conceptual frameworks. What have we learnt? What can we learn from others? Look at interdisciplinary, current trends or Australasian contributions.
4. Methods to make it work
What is new in evaluation might come from the most recent technologies but also from imported practice tools from other disciplines? How do we harness the power that these give us without losing our identity? What are the threats, what challenges and what excitement exist?
5. A profession to serve whom?
Who are we and what have we become, and where do we want to be? What should be included in the training for professional evaluators? The search for meaning is bound up many dimensions including practice and corporatism, competencies and their justification, ethical challenges, as well as Institutions that organise and regulate the practice of evaluation.
6. Populations and evaluation
With a rich variety of national, regional and local populations, Australasia offers many arenas for the evaluation experience to be anchored in different cultures and socio-economic contexts. The appropriateness and effectiveness of the evaluation find different questions and solutions as evaluators deal with culture clashes, vulnerable groups and social justice challenges.
Join us as we reach across boundaries.